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THE BOOKS 
OF 

EZRA AND NEHEMIAH 



CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

ilonlion: FETTER LANE, E.G. 

C. F. CLAY, Manager 




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All rights reserved 



^ THE BOOKS 

OF 

EZRA AND NEHEMIAH 

EDITED BY 

HERBERT EDWARD RYLE, D.D. 






Cambridge 

at the University Press 

1911 



First Edition 1897. 
Neic Edition, revised and enlarged, 1911. 



CONTENTS 

Intboduction : page 

Title and Subject 7 

Analysis 7 

Structure 9 

Date and Authorship 10 

Outline of History 11 

Lists : — 1. Persian Kings. 2. High Priests . 14 

Text and Notes 15 

Index ..... ..... 123 

Map at end 



The Text adopted in this edition is that of Dr Scrivener's 
Cambridge Paragraph Bible. A few variations from 
the ordinary Text, chiefly in the spelling of certain 
words, and in the use of italics, will be noticed. In the 
notes, the renderings of the Revised Version of 1885 
are printed in Clarendon type. 





ABBREVIATIONS. 


A.V. 


Authorised Version of 1611. 


R.V. 


Revised Version of 1885. 


Heb. 


The original Hebrew. 


Sept. 


or LXX. The Septuagint. 


Targ. 


The Targum. 


Vulg. 


The Vulgate. 


Lit. 


Literally. 



Fob the preparation of this httle book I am indebted to 
Miss Mary Dyson Hort, who, writing under my supervision, 
has with great patience and skill adapted the Introduction and 
abridged the Notes of my larger Commentary, to meet the 
requirements of the present series. 

H. E. R. 

The Lodge, 
Queens' College, Cambridge, 
Oct. 20, 1897. 



INTRODUCTION 



Title. Ezra and Nehemiah formed in the Hebrew Bible 
but one book, with the title "Ezra," just as Samuel, Kings, 
and Chronicles ranked each as one book in the Hebrew Scrip- 
tures ; while in the Greek and Latin Bibles each of these three 
books was divided into two portions, called respectively First 
and Second. In the same way, the Fathers of the early Chris- 
tian Church spoke of the "First and Second Books of Ezra," 
and the title of "Nehemiah" was not given to the second book 
till the days of Jerome. In the English Bibles these books 
were at first called "The First and Second of Ezra" (or 
"Esdras"), but by the end of the 16th century the titles 
"Ezra" and "Nehemiah," used at first as alternatives only, 
had been generally adopted. 

Subject. The period of history covered by these books 
comprises about 106 years, though they also contain references 
(inserted probably at the time of compilation) to events outside 
this period. The period itself refers mainly to two great epochs 
in the history of the Jewish nation, divided by a gap of nearly 
60 years. These epochs may be thus summarised — (1) The 
Eeturn from Captivity and the Eebuilding of the Temple. 
(2) The Eeforms of Ezra and the Government of Nehemiah. 

These two books must be regarded as preserving for us a 
series of incidents illustrative of the beginnings of Judaism, 
rather than as furnishing a continuous narrative. 

Analysis of Ezra and Nehemiali. 

[A. The Eestoration (Ezra i. — vi. omitting iv. 7—- 24). 
B. The Foundation of Judaism (Ezra vii. — x., iv. 7—24; 
Neh. i. — xiii.).] 



8 INTRODUCTION 

(A) I. The Return under Zernbhabel 538—516 B.C. 

(a) The Decree and Return. Ezra i. ii. 

(b) Dedication of the Altar. Temple Foundations 

laid. Ezra iii. 

(c) Samaritan Opposition. Cessation of the "Work. 

Ezra iv. 1 — 6. 

(d) Resumption of the Work. Completion of the 

Temple. Ezra v. vi. 

(B) II. The Return under Ezra. 458—457 B.C. 

(a) Ezra's Genealogy, Commission, and Thanks- 
giving. Ezra vii. 
(6) The Journey and Arrival. Ezra viii. 

(c) The People's Guilt and Ezra's Confession. 

Ezra ix. 

(d) The Covenant, Assembly, and Reform. Ezra x. 

m. Period of Hostility and Persecution. 456 — 445 B.C. 
Ezra iv. 7—24. 

IV. Nehemiah's First Visit to Jerusalem. 445 — 444 B.C. 
(a) Nehemiah's Grief and Prayer. Neh. i. 
(6) The Commission, Arrival, and Night Circuit. 
Neh. ii. 

(c) Rebuilding of the Walls begun. Neh. iii. 

(d) Opposition without the city. Difficulties within. 

Neh. iv. V. 

(e) Unsuccessful Plots. Completion of the Walls. 

Neh. vi. 
(/) Register of Zerubbabel's Company. Neh. vii. 

V. Religious Reforms. 445 — 444 B.C. 

(a) Public Reading of the Law. Feast of Taber- 
nacles. Neh. viii. 
(6) National Confession. Neh. ix. 
(c) The Great Covenant and its ObHgations. Neh. x. 

YI. Miscellaneous. 444 B.C. 

(a) Registers and Lists. Neh. xi. — xii. 26. 

{&) Dedication of the Walls. Organisation of Levites. 

Neh. xii. 27 — 47. 
(c) Separation from the Heathen. Neh. xiii. 1 — 3. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

VII. Nefiemiah's Second Visit. 432 B.C. 

(a) Nehemiah's Acts. Neh. xiii. 4 — 28. 

1. Cleanses the Temple. 

2. Provides for the Levites. 

3. Enforces observance of the Sabbath. 

4. Denounces mixed marriages. 
(6) Concluding Prayer. Neh. xiii. 29 — 31. 

Structure. 

1. Characteristics of Style. Abrupt transitions in narra- 
tive and subject; intermittent usage of 1st person; insertion 
of Aramaic passages; lists introduced without apparent refer- 
ence to context; names inserted without explanation, as if 
they had already occurred. 

2. Materials used by Compiler, (a) Personal Memoirs 
of Ezra and Nehemiah. (&) Official Hsts. (c) Extracts 
from Aramaic documents, (d) A contemporary chronicle. 
(e) The Compiler's own writing. 

(a) Ezra's Writing characterised by the use of 1st pers. 
sing.; by certain phrases (e.g. "the good hand of our God 
upon us") ; details of time and place (e.g. "river that runneth 
to Ahava," "12th day of the first month"); descriptions of 
acts of worship ; the mention of "males" in the list viii. 3 — 14. 

Nehemiah's Writing characterised by the use of 1st pers. 
sing. ; by its vigorous and distinct style; by certain recurring 
phrases ("my God," "the rulers and the nobles," etc.). 

(6) Official Lists modified or abridged by the Compiler. 
(Ezra i. 9—11, ii. 1—70, x. 20—44; Neh. iii. vii. 6—73; 
X, 1—27, xi. 3—36, xii. 1—26.) 

(c) Aramaic Extracts — consisting of official letters and 
explanatory narrative probably taken by the Compiler from 
an Aramaic history, and adapted freely by him. (Ezra iv. 
8— vi. 18, vii. 12—26.) 

(d) This section (Neh. vii. 73 — s.) interrupts the Memoirs 
of Nehemiah and is written in a wholly different style. Nehe- 
miah is only mentioned twice, and then by a new title. It is 
probably taken from some contemporary chronicle. 

(e) The portions in these books not taken from the above 
sources are probably the work of the Compiler himself; in 
style and language his writing closely resembles that of the 
Compiler of Chronicles, with whom therefore he may very 
possibly be identified. 



10 INTRODUCTION 

Date and Authorship. The contents of the last paragraph 
show that these two books could not have been written at any 
one time, but are a compilation from various sources, and it is 
not easy to assign a date even to the compilation. Neh. xii. 
26 and 47 show that the Compiler considered Nehemiah's days 
as 'past history,' while Neh. xii. 10, 11, 22, prove that by that 
time (i.e. at the date of compilation) at least two generations had 
succeeded that of Nehemiah; for EHashib {v. 10) was High 
Priest in the former's days [432 b.c], and Jaddua [v. 11) held 
the same office as late as 333^ b.c. (See also in Neh. xii. 22 
the mention of 'Darius the Persian,' who was probably 
Darius Codomannus [336 — 330 b.c.].) 

The most definite indication therefore of the date of com- 
pilation is to be found in these verses of Neh. xii., which (if 
accepted as they now stand in the text) prove that it cannot 
have been earlier than 320 b.c, while it was very possibly later, 
as Darius did not die till 330 b.c, and the Compiler is evidently 
speaking from the stand-point of subsequent history. 

It seems certain, both from the style and matter of these 
books, that neither Ezra nor Nehemiah could have been their 
Compiler, though the unknown editor must have freely used 
the writings of both. The theory that the Compiler of Chroni- 
cles was also the Compiler of Ezra and Nehemiah has of late 
years gained ground amongst commentators, and is now con- 
sidered very probable by many. In general character, historical 
treatment, and literary style the books closely resemble each 
other, while the resemblance between them is most noticeable 
in those passages which are the Compiler's own work. 

In Chronicles we find extracts from other sources, genea- 
logical and other lists, careful descriptions of religious festivals 
and rites, prominence given to Levites and the Temple staff 
generally, and all these points are characteristic also of Ezra 
and Nehemiah; while such phrases as 'heads of fathers' 
houses,' 'people of the countries,' 'the house of God,' etc., only 
occur in the Bible in these books and in Chronicles. 

1 The date 333 is the only one in connection with Jaddua that we 
can regard as a certainty, for Josephus narrates that in that year 
Alexander the Great passed along the borders of Palestine on his 
way into Egypt, and he even describes a dramatic but not very 
probable meeting between the conqueror and the high-priest 
Jaddua at Jerusalem. The other dates — of Jaddua's term of office, 
etc. — are purely conjectural. 



INTRODUCTION 11 

Outline of History. The Decree of Cyrus [538 B.C.], which 
is^the starting-point of the history covered by these two books, 
was the politic measure of a wise conqueror. Cyrus, king of 
Elam and Persia, had just become master also of Babylon, 
and it was to his own interest to conciliate as far as possible 
the tribes over whom he was now to rule. He therefore allowed 
many of those whom the kings of Babylon had transported, to 
return to their own countries, taking with them their sacred 
images. Amongst the captives thus set free were the Jews, and 
to them the king showed special favour, commanding them to 
rebuild the temple of their God, and aiding them by gifts to 
accomplish this duty. Cyrus by such acts hoped to please not 
only the subject tribes but also the gods whom they served, for 
he was himself a polytheist and wished to propitiate all the 
deities worshipped throughout his vast empire. 

Sheshbazzar, the Jewish prince (probably identical with 
Zerubbabel, Ezra ii. 2; Zech. iv. 6), led the band of exiles 
back to Jerusalem and the villages round, and was evidently 
made provincial governor by the Persian king. Soon after 
their arrival ("in the seventh month") the Jews set up the 
altar of burnt offering for the daily sacrifices, and in the 
second year began to lay the foundations of the Temple. The 
work was however hindered by the Samaritans, a mixed com- 
munity consisting chiefly of Assyrian colonists and Jews who 
had never gone into exile, but had been corrupted by inter- 
course with the heathen nations around. . The returned exiles, 
striving to keep their little community pure from the least 
stain of idolatry and to restore the true worship of Jehovah in 
its most ideal form, could not accept the offers of help which 
the Samaritans at first put forward. The latter in consequence 
became most bitter and jealous foes, and by representing the 
Jews to the Persian officials as rebellious subjects, likely to 
become dangerous if unchecked, they succeeded in getting the 
rebuilding of the Temple forcibly stopped for ten years or 
more. The work was therefore hindered during the reign of 
Cyrus [from 536 onwards], was stationary through the reigns 
of Cambyses [529 — 522] and Gomates [522], and was only 
resumed in the 2nd year of Darius I. [522] when Haggai 
and Zechariah moved the people to fresh efforts, and the 
king, having discovered the Edict of his predecessor, Cyrus, 
not only permitted the building to be continued, but made 



12 INTRODUCTION 

liberal grants towards the expenses. In 516 the Temple was 
finished and dedicated with solemn services. Then followed 
nearly 60 years during which we know little or nothing of the 
history of the community at Jerusalem. Ezra iv. 6 gives us a 
brief reference to Samaritan hostility in the reign of Xerxes 
[485 — 465], but otherwise this period is passed over in com- 
plete silence by the Chronicler. For Persia it was an epoch of 
stirring events and great calamities, ending in the overthrow 
of the Persian power in Greece. It was during these sixty 
years that such great battles as those of Marathon, Salamis, 
and Plataea, were fought, and it is to this period therefore 
that belong the world-famous names of Leonidas, Themistocles 
and Pausanias; while we cannot forget that its last decade 
saw the birth of Socrates. 

In Jerusalem during this long interval the priestly power 
had been growing ever more and more prominent, while many 
abuses had crept into the community, which half a century 
earlier would not have been tolerated. The priests now went 
so far as to encourage intermarriage with the heathen, in 
their desire to strengthen the position of the nation at all 
costs; and in proportion as their ambition increased so did 
their zeal for the worship of Jehovah grow less. The poor were 
oppressed by the rich, the Sabbath was profaned, and many 
abuses cried out for reform by the time that Ezra, the Priest 
and Scribe, appeared at Jerusalem supported by a company of 
returned exiles, and bringing with him a commission from 
Artaxerxes I. [458 B.C.]. The Persian monarch's favour may 
have been merely politic, for in this year he was troubled by 
the revolt of Egypt, and perhaps he wished to conciliate his 
subjects on the western frontier, and to secure the fidelity of 
his province of Judea. 

Ezra on arrival at once plunged into the question of 
reform, and began by insisting upon the banishment of all 
the foreign wives. This was a measure of which the extreme 
severity was justified by the aim of the reformer, his one 
object being to preserve the purity of the 'holy nation' at a 
very critical time. Another gap in the history here follows, 
probably of not less than 12 years ; but some light is thrown 
on the period by Ezra iv. 7 — 24. Probably Ezra, having 
carried out his reforms, next sought to strengthen the position 
of the nation still further by attempting to restore the walls 



INTRODUCTION 13 

and fortifications of the city. But the foes he had made by 
his severe measures, both in the city and among the tribes 
around, now combined against him, and, as formerly in the 
days of Cyrus, so now again in the days of Artaxerses I., com- 
plaints were made at head-quarters by the Samaritans and 
their allies, and the king stopped the work on the ground 
that to fortify the city was an act of treason and rebellion. 
The command was executed with violence (Ezra iv. 23) by 
Ezra's enemies, and the Scribe himself was probably forced 
to retire for a time to escape their fury. Some little time 
later the royal cupbearer, Nehemiah, being a favourite with 
Artaxerxes, obtained a reversal of the decree, and in 445 
arrived at Jerusalem as governor, armed with a fresh com- 
mission from the king, carrying letters to various Persian 
officials, and even protected by a body-guard of Persian soldiers. 
Nehemiah also was bent on reform, and he too met with 
opposition from the Samaritans and their friends within the 
city. He first finished the walls (in 52 days) and dedicated 
them with a solemn service. He then abolished the practice 
of usury, restored mortgaged property to its original owners, 
and increased the number of residents in Jerusalem, for the 
further protection of the city. His most important act was 
the publication of the Law, till then wholly in the hands of 
the priests, but now for the first time read openly to all the 
people (by Ezra, at Nehemiaii's command), and henceforward 
it became the standard by which every Jew regulated his 
life. The nation also bound itself by a covenant to observe 
the Law, and special reference was made to five of its more 
important obhgations (Neh. x.). After apparently 12 years of 
governorship (Neh. v. 14), Nehemiah returned to his duties at 
the court of Susa, but we are not told for how long a time he 
remained there. During his absence the old abuses at Jerusa- 
lem cropped up again, until at length he obtained leave to 
visit the city once more [? 432] and took summary measures 
to redress the evils that had reapijeared. With energy and 
righteous anger the zealous reformer cleansed the Temple from 
pollution, made provision for the Levites, enforced afresh the 
strict observance of the Sabbath, and denounced in no mea- 
sured terms the 'mixed marriages' which still defiled the holy 
nation. 

The narrative here ends abruptly with one of the briel 
ejaculatory prayers that are so characteristic of Nehemiah. 



14 INTRODUCTION 



LIST OF PEKSIAN KINGS 

Duration of Mentioned in 

* King Reign Ezra-Nehemiah 

1. Cyrus 559—529 Ezra i., iv. 1—5, v. 13—17, 

vi. 3—5 

2. fCambyses 529— 522 j 

3. ^Pseudo-Smerdis 522 — 521 > [not mentioned in Scripture] 
I or Gomates j 

4. Darius 1. 521 — 485 Ezra iv. 5, 24, v. 6, 7, vi. 

1—14 

5. Xerxes I. 485 — 465 Ezra iv. 6 

(Ahasuerus) 

6. Artaxerxes I. 465 — 425 Ezra iv. 7 — 24, vii.; Neh. ii., 

Longimanus xiii. 6 

[Six kings here follow who do not appear in these books — 
their reigns cover the period 424 — 335.] 

13. Darius ni. 336—330 Neh. xii. 22 

Codomannus 



LIST OF HIGH PEIESTS 

Jeshua, the son of Jozadak Ezra i. — vi. 

Joiakim Neh. xii. 10, 26 

Eliashib Neh. iii. 1, xiii. 4 

Joiada Neh. xii. 10, 22 

Jonathan or Johanan Neh. xii. 11, 22 

Jaddua Neh. xii. 11, 22 



EZRA 

Paet I. Chaps. I.-VI. The Return under Zerubbabel. 

i. 1-4. The Decree of Cyrus. 

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that 
the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah 
might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus 
king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout 
all his kingdom, Buidiput it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus 

Pabt I. Chaps. I.-YI. The Retuen under Zerubbabel. 
Ch. i. 1-4. The Decree of Cyrus. 

Cyrus, the founder of a new dynasty and conqueror of Babylon, 
was anxious to bind together his newly-made empire, and therefore 
sought to win the loyalty of the subject races who had been 
transplanted to Babylon, by allowing them to return to their homes, 
carrying back their gods, whom he thus hoped to propitiate in all 
parts of his vast kingdom. This poUcy explains the permission here 
granted to the Jews (1) to return to Jerusalem, (2) to rebuild their 
Temple, and carry back the sacred vessels. 

1-3. These verses are identical with the two which close 
the n. Book of Chronicles (IE. Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23). Probably 
Chronicle s-Ezr a -Nehemiah was originally a single book, the work 
of one compiler (see Introd., pp. 9, 10). 

1. Now'] The use of this word in the first sentence of the book 
shows that i. 1 is but the continuation of a history already half-told 
(i.e. in the preceding book of Chron.). the first year of Cyrus'] 

probably 538 B.C., the year when Cyrus conquered Babylon. He had 
been king of Elam for 20 years, and of Persia for 10, but is here 
called ' King of Persia ' because that country was the most import- 
ant of his conquests. hy the mouth of Jeremiah] Jer. xxix. 10. The 
"70 years" here spoken of may be counted exactly from 608, or 
in round numbers from one of the three great Babylonian inroads. 
fulfilled] E.y. accomplished. all his hingdomi i.e. Elam, 

Media, Persia, Lydia, Babylon. saying] The decree was in 



16 EZEA, I. 3-5 

saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven 
hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he 
hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, 
which is in Judah. 3"\^"][2o is there among you of all 
his people ? his God be with him, and let him go up to 
Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of 
the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in 
Jerusalem. 4,^(J whosoever remaineth in any place 
where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him 
with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with 
beasts, besides the freewill offering for the house of God 
that is in Jerusalem. 

5-11. TJie Retmm. 

5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and 
Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all 



Aramaic or Persian, and we have here the translated popular 
version. 

2. the Lord God of heaven] E.V. the Lord, the God of 
heaven. Cyrus here uses the Jewish sacred name (' Jahveh' or 
' Jehovah '), but this is no proof that he himself worshipped the God 
of the Jews . We now know from the Inscriptions that he was a poly- 
theist, and from poHtical motives served the gods of his many subject 
kingdoms, hoping thus to secm-e the favour and protection of each 
special deity. The title ' God of heaven ' imphed boundless power. 
hath charged me] unconsciously fulfilling Is. xhv. 24-28, xlv. 1-13. 
Jerusalem, ichicJi is in Judah] The small Jewish province would 
not be known all over the vast Persian Empire. The edict refers 
only to the Southern kingdom, depopulated by Nebuchadnezzar. 

3. his God he with him] a common fonn of blessing. Cf. ' Good- 
bye ' (God be with ye). ^e is the God] a Jewish parenthesis 
inserted by the compiler. 

4. ichosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth] R.V. 

whosoever is left i.e. wherever smwivors of the Captivity 

were found, their neighbours in those places were to help them with 
money and cattle. besides the freeicill offering] i.e. voluntary 

gifts for the Temple. Cf . Exod. xxxv. 29 ; Lev. xxii. 23. 

&-11. The Return. 

5. the chief of the fathers] E.Y. the heads of fathers' houses. 
had raised] R.V. had stirred up. 



EZRA, I. 6-11 17 

them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the 
house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, ^^^j^j all 
they that were about them strengthened their hands 
with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with 
beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was 
willingly offered, "^^iso Cyrus the king brought forth 
the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchad- 
nezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put 
them in the house of his gods; Seven those did Cyrus 
king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath 
the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, 
the prince of Judah. 9 And this is the number of them : 
thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, 
nine and twenty knives, lo thirty basons of gold, silver 
basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other 
vessels a thousand. "■"'All the vessels of gold and of 
silver were five thousand and four hundred. All tlcese 



6. And all they that were about them] Le. both heathen and 
Jewish neighbours. strengthened their hands'] Cf. Neh. ii 18. 

7. the vessels of ike house of the LORD] See U. Kings xxiv. 13. 
This capture took place in 598 b.c. in the house of his gods] The 
Heb. word (Elohim) may be also rendered ' god ' — and probably the 
sing, should be used here, as Nebuchadnezzar paid special honour 
to Merodach, above all other gods. 

8. Mithredath] the Heb. form of the Persian Mithridates. 
the treasurer] a Persian word, ' gizbar,' the royal purse-bearer. 
Sheshbazzar] probably to be identified with Zerubbabel (iii. 2, iv. 3? 
V. 2) which may have been the name he took as prince among his 
own people, while Sheshbazzar was his name at the Persian Coui't. 
the prince of Judah] the ' nasi ' of Judah, a Heb. title given to him 
either as head of the tribe, or as representative of the House of 
David. 

9. chargers] the word thus translated only occurs here in the 
O.T. It may mean either (1) sacrificial vessels, or (2) wine-coolers, 
or (3) libation- vessels, or (4) baskets. hnives] another word only 
found here: it may mean either (1) censers, or (2) changes of 
raiment, or (3) ornamented vessels. 

11. All the vessels. ..five thousand and four hundred'] the total 
does not agree with the enumeration in vv. 9, 10, and there is 
probably some copyist's error here. AU these did S7ceshbaazar 

EZBA AND NEH. 2 



18 EZEA, II. 1-3 

did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity 
that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem. 

ii. 1-70. Tlie Register of the Return. 

O Now these are the children of the province that 
went up out of the captivity, of those which had 
been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of 
Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again 
unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city; 
2 which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, 
Seraiah, Eeelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispah, Bigvai, 
Behum, Baanah. 

3 The number of the men of the people of Israel : the 
children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy 

hring up\ No details given of the jonmey, which must have lasted 
3— i months. Some -would insert here the Apocryphal passage 
I. Esdras v. 1-6. The Journey. Its course would have been 

N. and N.W. along the Euphrates by Haran to Carchemish, then 
S.W. and S. through Hamath, Syria, and Samaria. Ezra's caravan 
took 4 months (vii. 8, 9). 

Ch. ii. 1-70. TJie Be (lister of the Return. 
(The same hst occurs Neh. vii. &-73, 1. Esdras v. 7-451.) 

1. the children of the province^ i.e. of Judah; the phrase is 
used throughout Ezra and Neh. to describe the Jews living at or 
near Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar'] whose two chief assaults of 
Jerusalem were in 598 and 587-6 B.C. 

2. Zerubbahefj (i.e. ' begotten in Babylon ') an Assyrian name — 
he was the grandson of King Jehoiachin and nephew of Shealtiel. 
Jeshua] (or 'Jehoshua') the High Priest, grandson of Seraiah 
(II. Kings XXV. 18-21). He is the ' Joshua ' of Haggai and Zechariah 
(Hag. i. 1, 12 etc., Zech. iii. 1, 3, 6 etc.). Xehemiah] N.B.not 
the famous leader. This verse contains a list of representative 
princes. 

3. The Laity — arranged under names of clans or houses. The 
Hsts in Neh. and Esdras differ in certain details of names and figures, 
probably owing to copyists' errors. 



1 Aiudysis of Register. A. Laity (3-35). B. Priests (36-39). 
C. Levitts and Temple Servants (40-58). D. Miscellaneous (59-63). 
E. Sum Total (64-67). 



EZRA, II. 4-31 19 

and two. '*The children of Shephatiah, three hundred 
seventy and two. ^ The children of Arah, seven hundred 
seventy and five. ^ The children of Pahath-moab, of the 
children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred 
and twelve. 7 The children of Elam, a thousand two 
hundred fifty and four. 8 The children of Zattu, nine 
hundred forty and five. 9 The children of Zaccai, seven 
hundred and threescore. ""OThe children of Bard, six 
hundred forty and two. "•''The children of Bebai, six 
hundred twenty and three. ""^ The children of Azgad, a 
thousand two hundred twenty and two. ""^ The children 
of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six. i* The children 
of Bigvai, two thousand fiity and six. ""SThe children 
of Adin, four hundred fifty and four. ^^The children of 
Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. ''^The children of 
Bezai, three hundred twenty and three. "IS The children 
of Jorah, an hundred and twelve. "■^The children of 
Hashum, two hundred twenty and three. 20 The children 
of Gibbar, ninety and five. 2i The children of Beth-lehem, 
an hundred twenty and three. 22 The men of Netophah, 
fifty and six. 23 The men of Anathoth, an hundred 
twenty and eight. 24 The children of Azmaveth, forty 
and two. 25 The children of Kirjath-arim, Chephirah, 
and Beeroth, seven hundred and forty and three. 26 The 
children of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and 
one. 27 The men of Michmas, an hundred twenty and 
two. 28 The men of Beth-el and Ai, two hundred 
twenty and three. 29 The children of Nebo, fifty and 
two. 30 The children of Magbish, an hundred fifty and 
six. 31 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two 

6. Pahath-moab] Pahath = ' ruler of.' See I. Chron. iv. 22. 

2&-3o. Names of towns and places. Possibly the List represents 
some such order as — 1st, dwellers in Jerusalem, 2nd, dwellers in 
places near Jerusalem, 3rd, those in remote places. 

25. Gibeonite cities. See Josh. ix. 17. 

29. Nebo] not the Moabite town, but possibly the same as Nob. 

30-32. The text of these vv. is corrupt. 

2—2 



20 EZEA, II. 32-44 

hundred fifty and four. 32 xhe children of Harim, three 
hundred and twenty. 33 The children of Lod, Hadid, 
and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five. 34 The 
children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. 
35 The children of Senaah, three thousand and six 
hundred and tMrty. 

36 The priests : the children of Jedaiah, of the house of 
Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. 37 The children 
of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. 38 The children of 
Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. 39 The 
children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. 

^0 The Levites : the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, 
of the children of Hodaviah, seventy and four. 4i The 
singers : the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and 
eight. ^^2 The children of the porters : the children of 
Shalluni, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, 
the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children 
of Shobai, in all an hundred thirty and nine. 

^^3 The Xethinims : the children of Ziha, the children 
of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, '^the children of 
Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon, 

35. 3630] Nehemiah gives the number as 3930 for this same un- 
known town of Senaah. Either the number is incorrectly recorded, 
or other places are included whose names have been omitted. 

36. of the house of Jeshua] not to be identified with the High 
Priest. 

40. The Levites] arranged here as la I. Chron. (1) Levites 
proper. (2) Singers. (3) Doorkeepers. Cf. the small number of 
Levites (431) with the 4289 priests. 

41. The singers] dating from David's time, I. Chron. xv. 17-24. 
There were then 24 classes of singers, and 3 great guilds called 
after Heman, Asaph, Jeduthun. Only the Asaph gmld returned. 

43. The Xethinims] E.V. gives the correct Heb. plui*al, without 
the s. This class is mentioned only in Ezra and Neh. and once in 
Chron. Jewish tradition identifies them with the Gibeonites (ap- 
pointed by Joshua to help the Levites, Josh. ix. 3 etc.). Their 
number was added to from the ranks of captives (Numb. xxxi. 28- 
30) and they wer-e treated by the Jews with contempt in later 
times. 



EZRA, n. 45-61 21 

46 the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, 
the children of Akkub, ''•sthe children of Hagab, the 
children of Shalmai, the children of Hanan, *7the 
children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children 
of Reaiah, ^sthe children of Rezin, the children of 
Nekoda, the children of Gazzam, 49 the children of 
Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai, 
50 the children of Asnah, the children of Mehunim, the 
children of Nephusim, sithe children of Bakbuk, the 
children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 52 the 
children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children 
of Harsha, 53 the children of Barkos, the children of 
Sisera, the children of Thamah, 54 the children of Neziah, 
the children of Hatipha. 

55 The children of Solomon's servants : the children of 
Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Peruda, 
56 the children of Jaalah, the children of Darken, the 
children of Giddel, 57 the children of Shephatiah, the 
children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, 
the children of Ami. 58 All the Nethinims, and the 
children of Solomon's servants, were three hmidred 
ninety and two. 

59 And these ivere they which went up from Tel-melah, 
Tel-harsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer : but they could 
not shew their fathers' house, and their seed, whether 
they were of Israel: 60 the children of Delaiah, the 
children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred 
fifty and two. 6i And of the children of the priests : the 
children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of 



50. the children of Mehunim] E.V. Meunim. Possibly identical 
with the Maonites (Judges x. 12), Bedouins S. of the Dead Sea. 

55. The children of Solomon's servants'] i.e. descendants of the 
original inhabitants of Canaan (Amorites, Hittites, Hivites, Periz- 
zites and Jebusites), whom Solomon had used as hired bond- servants 
when building the Temple (I. Kings v. 13). 

57. Pochereth of Zebaim] R.V. Pochereth-hazzebaim = the 
gazelle-hunter. 



22 EZRA, II. 62-65 

Barzillai ; which took a wife of the daughters of BarziUai 
the Gileadite, and was called after their name: 62 these 
sought their register among those that were reckoned 
by genealogy, but they were not found : therefore were 
they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. 63 And the 
Thshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of 
the most holy things till there stood uj) a priest with 
Urim and with Thummim. 

64 The whole congregation together was forty and two 
thousand three hundred and threescore, ssbegj^e their 
servants and their maids, of whom tliere ivere seven 
thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there 
were among them two hundred singing men and singing 

61. of the daughters of Barzillai the Grileadite'] who helped 
David in his flight from Absalom (I. Kings ii. 7) and whose sou 
Chimham probably founded a family at Beth-lehem (Jer. xli. 17). 

62. these soicght their register} i.e. searched for their genealogy 
in the priestly book called "The Em-oUed." 

63. the Tirshatha] i.e. Zerubbabel. The Persian title for a pro- 
vincial governor (cf . ' Pekhah ' = the Babylonian title) ; the root of 
the word means ' to fear.' the most holy things] cf . Nmnb. 
xviii. 9-11. These comprised the shewbread, the incense, the sin 
and guilt offering, and the di-ink offering. A priest thus excluded 
might not be consecrated (see Ex. xxix.), could not offer sacrifices, 
or enter the Holy Place. The ' holy things ' comprised the thank- 
offering, the firstlings of herd and flock, the first-fruits, and the 
tithe, of all of which the priests' families might partake. Urim 
and Thiimmini] After the Captivity the High Priest never again 
employed this sacred method of inqmry. The O.T. gives no expla- 
nation of its exact nature. The words mean respectively 'Light' 
and ' Perfection,' and may refer either (a) to the stones of the High 
Priest's breastplate, or (&) to sacred dice, or (c) to little images of 
truth and justice, as worn by Egyptian priests. 

64. The sum total (42,360) is the same iu Ezra, Neh. and I. Esdi'as, 
but the items vary and do not in any case make up this total. 
Probably the text has been corrupted by careless copyists. 

65. singing men and singing women] Le. hired performers for 
funerals, feasts etc., distinct from the Levitical guild {u. 41), and 
belonging to the lowest class of the people. The mention of such 
here proves that there were wealthy men iu the caravan who could 
afford this luxmy. 



EZRA, II. 66-III. 2 23 

women. 66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and 
six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; 67 their 
camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six 
thousand seven hundred and twenty. 

68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they 
came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, 
offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his 
place : 69 they gave after their abihty unto the treasure 
of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, 
and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred 
priests' garments. 70 go the priests, and the Levites, 
and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, 
and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Isrsiel 
in their cities. 

iii. 1-7. Building of the Altar. Feast of Tabernacles. 

Q And when the seventh month was come, and the 

children of Israel were in the cities, the people 
gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. 
2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his 
brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, 
and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of 
Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written 

66. horses'] Here first mentioned as used for peaceful purposes. 
Another sign of wealth. mules] ridden only by the richest class. 

67. camels'] for burdens. asses] for the lowest classes. 

69. drams] R.V. darics. A Persian gold coin, the name pro- 
bably from ' dara ' = ' a king,' referring to the figure on one side of 
the coin (cf. our ' sovereign '). This is the first mention of the name 
of a coin in O.T. priests' garments] i.e. (1) long tunic, (2) mitre 

or turban, (3) breeches, (4) girdle — all of fine white linen. See 
Exod. xxviii. 40, xxxix. 27. 

Ch. iii 1-7. Building of the Altar. Feast of Tabernacles. 

%, the seventh month.] Tisri, the most sacred in the Jewish 
Calendar. 1st day, Feast of Trumpets ; 10th day, Day of Atonement ; 
15th day. Feast of Tabernacles. This would be in the first year of 
the Return. 

2. as it is written] see Numb. xxix. 1-6. Burnt offerings 
(1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs). 



24 EZRA, III. 3-7 

in the law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set the 
altar upon his bases ; for fear ivas upon them because of 
the people of tJwse countries : and they offered burnt 
offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings 
morning and evening. 4- They kept also the feast of 
tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt 
offerings by number, according to the custom, as the 
duty of every day required; Sand afterward offered the 
continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of 
all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and 
of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering 
unto the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh 
month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the 
Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord 
was not yet laid. ^Xhey gave money also unto the 
masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, 

3. itpon his bases] E.V. upon its base. Margin 'in its 
place' is probably right. This whole verse is far fi-om clear, 
owing to the condensed language of the original. By omitting one 
letter in the Heb,, the clause runs 'for the people of the countries 
were a ten-or to them ' — i.e. the erection of the altar gave them con- 
fidence, forming as it did a national rallying-point against the sur- 
rounding tribes. For ' morning and evening ' sacrifices see Ex. xxix. 
38 ; Num. xxviii. 3-8. 

4. the feast of tabernacles] Lev. xxiii. 34-42 ; Deut. xvi. 13-15. 
The vintage feast, celebrated also in memory of the Wanderings, 
and henceforth of the Eeturu. Solomon's Temple was dedicated at 
this feast (Tisri 15), cf. also Neh. viii. 14-16. the dtity of every 
day] 13 bullocks on the 1st day, 12 on the 2nd — and so on. 

5. the continiLal burnt offering] i.e. daily morning and evening 
sacrifices. bothof the neia mooris, and of all. ..etc.] E.Y. andthe 
offerings of the new moons, and of all...etc. The observance 
of ' new moons ' was adopted from the religion of the Semitic races 
(see Numb, xxviii. 11-15), but was not in the Levitical code. the 
set feasts] i.e. (1) Passover, (2) Feast of Weeks, (3) Feast of Taber- 
nacles (see n. Chron. viii. 13). freewill offering] made (1) on 
gi-eat festivals, (2) when any worshipper desired (cf. ' Corban,' St 
Mark vii. 11 ; St Matt. v. 23). 

7. meat] the old EngUsh expression for 'food.' of Zidon 

and. ..of Tyre] following Solomon's example I.Kings v. 6-12. to 



EZRA, III. 8-10 25 

and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to 

bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, 

according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of 

Persia. 

8-13. Foundation of the Temple. 

8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the 
house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began 
Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of 
Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests 
and the Levites, and all they that "were come out of the 
captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites 
from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the 
work of the house of the Lord. 9 Then stood Jeshua 
with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, 
the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen 
in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their 
sons and their brethren the Levites. ''OAnd when the 
builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, 
they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and 

the sea of Joppa] E.V. to the sea, unto Joppa — the nearest port 
to Jerusalem ; the cedars were tied together in huge rafts and floated 
along the coast. the grant. ..of Cyrus] who was not however 

lord of Phoenicia, so this refers merely to the decree which said that 
the Temple should be rebuilt, and not to any special grant of timber 
from Lebanon. 

8-13. Foundation of the Temple. 

8. to set forward] E.V. to have the oversight — a rare Heb. 
word. 

9. It is not clear how many Levit. families are given in this 
verse, and the final clause comes in awkwardly. Probably there are 
3 famihes: (1) Jeshua's, (2) Kadmiel' s — including a special branch, 
Hodaviah's sons — (3) Henadad's. 

10. they set the priests etc.] R.V. margin " According to some 
MSS. and ancient versions the priests stood." This reading 
on the whole seems preferable to the one in the text, where the 
subject of ' set ' cannot be ' builders ' — i.e. the workmen — but must 
refer back to verse 8, to " Zerubbabel... and Jeshua. ..and the 
priests," and it is hardly a likely statement that these appointed 
(set) the priests. in their apparel] i.e. their priestly 
garments of white linen. ^o^th trumpets] see Num. x. 8. 



26 EZRA, m. 11-IV. 1 

the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise 
the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 
"•"•And they sung together by course in praising and 
giving thanks unto the Lord ; because he is good, for his 
mercy endureth for ever towards Israel. And all the 
people shouted with a great shout, when they praised 
the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the 
Lord was laid. '■23^^ many of the priests and Levites 
and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men that had 
seen the first house, when the foundation of this house 
was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice ; and 
many shouted aloud for joy: ""Sso that the people could 
not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise 
of the weeping of the people : for the people shouted 
vnth a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. 

iv. 1-5. TJie Opposition. 
A. Now wlien the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin 
heard that the children of the captivity builded the 

with cymbals'] David assigned the cymbals to the sons of Asaph, 
one of the three Levltical guilds. Cf . I. Chi-on. xxv. 1 with I. Chron. 
xvi. 4, 5. 

11. A/id they sung together by course] E.V. And they sang 
one to another. Some commentators have seen in this an allusion 
to antiphonal singing — but more probably the phrase means that 
the chant of praise "svas answered by a burst of chorus in some 
familiar refrain, which is quoted in the clause beginning " because 
he is good" etc. This refrain is not quoted from a Psalm, but was 
a liturgical response upon which Ps. cxxxvi. was probably founded. 
This whole verse fulfils the prophecy in Jer. xxxiii. 10, 11. 

12. the first house] Solomon's Temple was destroyed 587 B.C. 
The new temple was begun 536 b.c. Cf. Haggai ii. 3. wept 
with a loud voice] remembering their past suffeiings, their di- 
minished numbers, and the dangers, difficulties, and trials that 
lay before them. 

Ch. iv. 1-6. The Oppositicm. 
1. the adversaries] i.e. the Samaritans. of Judah and 

Benjamin] those who returned were chiefly from these two tribes. 
the children of the captivity] this phrase ('b'ne hag-golah') occurs 
frequently throughout Ezra. 



EZRA, IV. 2-5 27 

temple unto the Lord God of Israel; 2 then they came 
to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said 
mito them, Let us build with you : for we seek your 
God, as ye do ; and we do sacrifice unto him since the 
days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us 
up hither. 3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest 
of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, You 
have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our 
God; but we ourselves together VTill build unto the 
Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia 
hath commanded us. ^-Then the people of the land 
weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and 
troubled them in building, Sand hired counsellers 
against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days 
of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius 
king of Persia. 

2. we seek your God, as ye do] ' to seek ' in Ezra and Neh. is 
equivalent for ' to worship.' and toe do sacrifice unto ?nm] An 
alternative reading is " yet we do no sacrifice since " etc., and the 
difficulty arises from the extreme similarity between the Heb. 
words for ' unto him ' and ' not,' which are frequently interchanged 
by mistake. On the whole it seems most probable that the received 
text preserves the right word here. the days of Esar-haddon 
king of Assur] E.V. Assyria. Esar-haddon succeeded Senna- 
cherib, and reigned over Assyria 680-668 B.C. 

3. The refusal, though jirobably based on rehgious motives, was 
protected by the terms of Cyrus' decree. 

4. the people of the land] here = the Samaritans — this phrase 
("am haare?') became a synonym for 'the ignorant,' those who 
knew not the Law (cf. Joh. vii. 49). weakened the hands] the 
Heb. phrase has the idea of a course of weakening, terrifying, and 
bribing. 

5. hired counseUers] they bribed the provincial officials to make 
unfavourable reports about the 'people of Judah' at the king's 
court. all the days of Cyrus] he died in 529 B.C. until 
the reign of Darius king of Persia] Between Cyrus and Darius 
there reigned two kings, Cambyses (529-522), and Pseudo-Smerdis, 
who reigned only seven months, and was succeeded in 522 by 
Darius I. (called Hystaspes) — the politic and wise king who con- 
solidated the gi'eat Empire which Cyras had founded by his mihtaiy 
successes. 



28 EZRA, IV. 6, 7 

6-24. Tlie Opposition continued. 

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of 
his reign, "urote they unto him an accusation against 
the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 7 And in the 
days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, 
and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king 
of Persia ; and the writing of the letter icas written in 
the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. 

6-24. The Opposition continued. 

6. Ahasuerus] the "weU-known Xerxes, son of Darius, who 
reigned 485-465, and who is probably the ' Ahasuems ' of the book 
Esther. In profane histoi-y we connect his name with the famous 
battles of Thermopylae and Salamis, of Plataea and Mycale. The 
Hebrew form of his name is Ahashverosh, 

7. Artaxerxes] sumamed Longimanus — he was the son and 
successor of Xerxes — and he reigned from 465 to 425. The name 
in Hebrew is Ai'tahshashta, and in the inscriptions which have 
been found in Persia and elsewhere it appears as Ai'takshathra. 
Bishlam, Mithredath, TabeeFj names of foreign colonists. Each of 
these three verses (6, 7, 8) gives a fresh instance of Samaritan 
opposition to the Jews, one in the reign of Xerxes, two in that of 
Artaxei-xes (the first complaint wi-itten by Bishlam etc., the second 
by Eehum etc.). The whole passage (verses 6-23) is probably in 
reahty an anticipatory fragment of later history, inserted here by 
the Compiler to illustrate the similar course of opposition ex- 
perienced by the Jews in the days of Cyrus (verses 4 and 5, 24). 
written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue] 
E.Y. written in the Syrian character, and set forth in the 
Syrian tongue. Margin ' Or Aramaic for Syi-ian.' This pro- 
bably means that in the days of Artaxerxes the official correspond- 
ence of the Syrian province was caii-ied on in Ai'amaic, which 
rivalled Greek as the language of diplomacy and commerce among 
the races of Western Asia. This verse draws attention to the fact 
that the Aramaic characters (as well as language) were used in the 
letter 1. 



1 Aramaic was a dialect which gradually took the place of Hebrew 
as the popular language of the Jews. The Northern Semitic lan- 
guages have been thus classified : — (1) Assyrian and Babylonian in 
the E. and N.E. (2) Ai-amaic on the N. and N.W. (3) Canaanite 
and Hebrew on the TV. Aramaic therefore was closely allied to the 
Hebrew and Assyrian, and was spoken originally by the N. Semitic 
tribes. It spread gradually S. and S.E. until it became the principal 



EZEA, IV. 8-10 29 

SRehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe 
wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king 
in this sort: 9 then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and 
Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions ; 
the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the TarpeHtes, the 
Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susan- 
chites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites, ""Oand the rest 
of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar 

8. This verse begins the Aramaic section (iv. 8-vi. 18) which 
opens with the letter of Eehum, but continues (in the narrative) 
untU the close of the account of the Dedication Feast. Probably 
the Compiler took the whole section, just as it stands, from some 
Aramaic chronicle, and inserted it bodily in his own history. 
Rehurti] the chief official of the Samaritans ; the name is probably 
Persian. the chancellor] lit. 'the lord of judgment' — or 
possibly ' lord of official reports.' the scribe'] i.e. the governor's 
secretary. 

9. the Dinaites] a tribe of W. Armenia. the Apharsath- 
chites] these have not yet been identified : possibly they were 
Persians. the TarpeHtes] a tribe on the coast of Pontus. the 
Apharsites] probably identical with a Median tribe mentioned in 
the inscriptions of Sennacherib's time. the Archevites] who 
lived in Warka, a town S.E. of Babylon. the Babylonians] 
dwellers in Babylon, then the capital of the province of Babylonia 
(while Nineveh was the capital of the whole Empire). the 
Susanchites] inhabitants of Susa, an important town in the Persian 
Empire. See Neh. i. 1; Dan. viii. 2. It was the capital of the 
province of Elam. the Dehavites] not definitely identified as 
yet — possibly a Persian tribe. the Elamites] the province of 
Elam was on the E. of Babylonia, W. of Persia, and S. of Media. 

10. the great and noble Asnappar] E.V. Osnappar. This 
name is found nowhere else in the Bible. He has been identified: 
(1) ^vith Esar-haddon — though in the inscriptions no such second 
name or title is given him; (2) with some unkno^^^l general of 
Esar-haddon' s armies; (3) with Assur-bani-pal, the great Assyrian 
king (668-626). This last theory seems the most probable, in the 
light of recent discoveries, for Assur-bani-pal was the only Assyrian 

dialect of the countries between the Tigris and the Mediterranean. 
Aramaic was at first used amongst the Jews as the language of di- 
plomacy alone — see 11. Kings xviii. 26, but by the 4th cent. b.c. many 
of the Hebrews both wrote and spoke in this dialect, and by the 
1st cent. B.C. it had become the ordinary language of the people. 



30 EZRA, IV. 11-14 

brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the 
rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time. 
■'■' This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, 
even unto Artaxerxes the king : 

Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at 
such a time. 12 ge it known unto the king, that the 
Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto 
Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and 
have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. 
"IS Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be 
builded, and the walls set up again, tlien will they not 
pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage 
the revenue of the kings. ""^Now because we have 

king who took Susa (see v. 9, ' Susanchites'), and he was evidently 
a ' great and noble ' monarch in many ways, for his reign was one 
long series of brilliant victories. He quelled a rebellion in Baby- 
lon, and conquered Elam, which would accoiuat for the mention of 
the colonists from these countries whom Asnappar placed in 
Samaria. on this side the Hver'] E.V. beyond the river — 

i.e. West of the Euphrates — the phrase ' the country beyond the 
river ' (the Abhar-Nahara) was the regular geographical name for 
the Syrian province. and at such a time\ R.V. and so forth 

— this little phrase is merely an equivalent for our ' et caetera ' — 
and refers to the rest of the lengthy salutation which is here 
omitted (see also v. 11). 

11. the men on this side the river] R.V. beyond the river 
(see above). 

12. the Jeios'] the first use of the word as apphed to the new 
community at Jerusalem ; it had been originally used of the South- 
em Kingdom II. Kings xvi. 6, xxv. 25, and as the returned exiles 
were chiefly of that section of the tribes, the name soon became 
recognised as representing the whole nation. have set up the 
tcalls] E.Y. finished — and again in the next verse and v. 16. 
and joined the foundations] R.V. repaired. 

13. toll, tribute, and custom] R.V, tribute, custom, or tolL 
Tribute = the imperial tax on the subject provinces; custom = duties 
on merchandise or produce ; toll = a tax on travellers, for the main- 
tenance of roads. atid so thou shalt eyidamage the revenue of 
the hings] R.V. and in the end it will endamage the kings. 
' It ' refers to the city of Jerusalem. 

14. have maintenance from the king's palace] R.V. eat the 



EZRA, IV. 15-19 31 

maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not 
meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have 
we sent and certified the king; ""Sthat search may be 
made in the book of the records of thy fathers : so shalt 
thou find in the book of the records, and know that this 
city is a rebeUious city, and hurtful unto kings and 
provinces, and that they have moved sedition within 
the same of old time: for which cause was this city 
destroyed. i^We certify the king that, if this city be 
builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this 
means thou shalt have no portion on this side the 
river. 

'^'7 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the 
chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest 
of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the 
rest beyond the river : 

Peace, and at such a time. ""SThe letter which ye 
sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. is And I 
commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found 

salt of the palace — in the original an ambiguous phrase, running 
literally 'we have salted the palace's salt,' i.e. 'are in the king's 
service' — (not 'have been entertained as guests'). Cf. English 
'salary' from Lat. salarium = salt money, 

15. the booh of the records'] compare vi. 1, 2 and Esther ii. 23, 
vi. 1, X. 2. provijices] the great districts into which the 
Persian Empire was divided — see Esther i. 1, where they are said 
to be 127 ta number. destroyed] R.V. laid waste. 

16. The letter ends with two warnings as to the possible results 
of Jerusalem becoming once more a fortified centre : (1) that the 
Jews would stir up rebelhon amongst the "Western nations ; (2) that 
a new Jewish Empire might rise upon the stronghold of Jerusalem 
— as the old Israelite Kingdom had done — and thus the Persian 
king would lose from his grasp aU the country W. of the Euphrates. 

17. unto the rest beyond the river] R.V. in the rest of the 
country beyond the river. and at such a time] R.V. and 
so forth. See note on v. 10. 

18. plainly read before me] i.e. aU the allusions, etc. carefully 
explained and made clear by the servants whose duty it was to read 
to the king. 



32 EZRA, IV. 20-24 

that this city of old time hath made insurrection against 
kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made 
therein. 20 There have been mighty kings also over 
Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond 
the river ; and toll, tribute, and custom, teas paid unto 
them. 21 Give ye now commandment to cause these 
men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until 
another commandment shall be given from me. 22 Take 
heed now that ye fail not to do this : why should damage 
grow to the hurt of the kings? 

23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter ivas 
read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their 
companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto 
the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. 
24 Then ceased the work of the house of the God which is 



19. insurrection against kings^ probably referring to the re- 
bellious doings of Jehoiakim, JehoiacMn, and Zedekiah — IE. Kings 
xxiv. 1, 10, 20. 

20. all countries] E.Y. the country. toU, tribute, and 
custom] see note on v. 13. 

21. Give ye now commandment] E.Y. Make ye now a 
decree. that this city he not builded] The king's evident 
alarm at the rebuilding of a strong city supports the theory that 
this was Artaxerxes Longinianus (of the time of Nehemiah), for in 
his predecessor's reign the Greeks had won many of their great 
naval victories, and the whole western frontier of the Persian 
Empire had been weakened by the repeated defeats sustained 
by Xerxes at Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale. (See the period 
490-470 B.C. in Greek history.) It seems to bi-ing additional 
life and interest to the narrative if we connect with this time 
the names of such heroes as Miltiades, King Leonidas, and The- 
mistocles. 

23. made them to cease by force and poicer] Mt. 'with an ann 
and with troops.' The Samaritans enforced the royal decree with 
ready zeal, feeling that they had now legal authority to support 
their violence. Possibly Neh. i. 3 refers to the results of the 
strong measm'es employed by the opposiug party. The antici- 
patory fragment {vv. 6-23) ends here, and the next verse resumes 
the thread of the narrative abruptlv broken off at v. 5. 



EZRA, V. 1 33 

at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the 
reign of Darius king of Persia. 

V. 1-5. The work resumed. Opponents remonstrate. 

5 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and 
Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the 

24. unto the second year of the reign of Darius] i.e. 521 b.c. 
The cessation of the work during this period (from Cjtus to Darius) 
is easily explained by the facts of contemporary history. Cyrus 
was wholly occupied in vast schemes of conquest, and cared little 
for the affairs of his distant Syrian province. Cambyses, his 
successor, was a suspicious man, ready to listen to the evil reports 
of his oflficials concerning the province, and during the brief reign 
of the usurper Pseudo-Smerdis there was too much disturbance at 
head-quarters to allow time for inquiry into the wrongs of far-off 
Abhar-Nahara — the country ' beyond the Eiver.' 

Note on vv. 7-23. There are differences of opinion as to the 
chronology of this section, and there are many who would not 
support our ' anticipatory fragment ' theory. The diflSculty lies in 
the identification of the Persian kings mentioned in this chapter. 
Their names and order according to profane history are as fol- 
lows: (1) Cyrus, died 529. (2) Cambyses, 529-522. (3) Gomates 
or Pseudo-Smerdis, 522. (4) Darius I. (Hystaspes) 522-485. 
(5) Xerxes, 485-465. (6) Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus) 465-425. 
(7) Xerxes 11. (8) Sogdianus. (9) Darius II. (Nothus) 424-395, 
etc. In Ezra iv. 5 and 24 we learn that the building of the Temple 
was caused to cease from the reign of Cyrus till the second year of 
Darius (536-520). In i v. 6 a letter hostile to the Jews is referred 
to as written 'in the reign of Ahasuerus,' and this name is gene- 
rally admitted to be the same as the Heb. form of Xerxes fcf . Bk. 
of Esther). If this chapter contains a chronological narrative, how 
is it that Xerxes and Artaxerxes come before their predecessor 
Darius I. ? Some would explain this by identifying Ahasuerus 
with Cambyses, and Artaxerxes with Pseudo-Smerdis. But there 
are no satisfactory grounds for this identification, and the mention 
of ' city walls ' rather than of the Temple (in the letter to Arta- 
xerxes) points to a later date than the time of Pseudo-Smerdis, 
We come back therefore to the theory stated above iv. 1) that 
6-23 is a passage of later history inserted by the Compiler in his 
narrative in this place because of its similarity of subject. 

Ch. V. 1-5. The work resumed. Opponents remonstrate. 

1. Haggai the prophef] the repetition of the word 'prophet' is 
explained by comparison with Haggai i. 1 and Ezra vi. 14, which 

EZRA AND NEH. 3 



34 EZRA, V. 2, 3 

Jews that ivere in Judah and Jerusalem in the name 
of the God of Israel, even unto them. 2 Then rose up 
Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of 
Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is 
at Jerusalem : and with them were the prophets of God 
helping them. 

3 At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on 
this side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and their com- 
panions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded 
you to build this house, and to make up this wall? 

show that he was generally known by this title. His book contains 
three separate prophecies, all delivered in the 2nd year of Darius — 
(1) on the 1st day of the 6th month, (2) on the 21st day of the 7th 
month, (3) on the 24th day of the 9th month. Zechariak the 

son of Iddo] or rather, ' grandson.' See Zech. i. 1. In Neh. xiL 4 
an 'Iddo' occurs among the heads of priestly houses. He was 
probably more famous than his son Berechiah, the father of Zecha- 
riah, according to the prophet's own book. Zech. i. 1 gives the 
8th month of the 2nd year of Dai'ius (521 b.c.) as the date of his 
first prophecy. vn the name of the God of Israel, even unto 

them] E.Y. in the name of the God of Israel prophesied they 
unto them. E.Y. marg. ' in the name of the God of Israel which 
was upon them.' The latter rendering seems the more probable, 
referring to the spiritual calling of the nation, which had been so 
specially chosen out by G-od. Cf . Is. xliii. 5-7, Ixiii. 19 ; Dan. ix. 18. 
3. Tatnai, governor on this side the river'] K.V. Tattenai, 
the governor heyond the river. He appears as ' Sisinnes ' in 
I. Esdras vi, 7. He was probably ' satrap ' of all Syria and CUicia 
W. of the Euphrates. The Persian kingdom was divided into 20 
satrapies, or provinces, each with a governor over it, who was 
answerable to the king alone, and had great power in his own 
domain. ' Governor beyond the river ' was the technical title for 
the satrap of the Syrian province, and is found on Persian coins. 
Zerubbabel was the ' pekhah ' or small local governor of the dis- 
trict of Jerusalem, and acknowledged the satrap as his superior. 
Shethar-boznai] perhaps a secretary to Tattenai (as Shimshai to 
Rehum, iv. 8). In I. Esdras vi. 3 he appears as ' Sathrabuzanes.* 
Who hath commanded you] E.V. Who gave you a decree? 
to make up this icall] E.V. to finish this wall. It was about 18 
years since the decree of Cyrus, so its existence may weU have 
been forgotten by those in authority, and Tatnai was probably a 
satrap recently appointed. 



EZEA, V. 4r-9 35 

* Then said we unto them after this manner, What are 
the names of the men that make tliis building? 5 But 
the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, 
that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter 
came to Darius: and then they returned answer by 
letter concerning this matter. 

6-17. Opponents appeal to Darius. 

6 The copy of the letter that Tatnai, governor on this 
side the river, and Shethar-boznai, and his companions 
the Apharsachites, which were on this side the river, 
sent unto Darius the king: 7 they sent a letter unto him, 
wherein was written thus : 

8 Unto Darius the king, all peace. Be it known unto 
the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the 
house of the great God, which is builded with great 
stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work 
goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands. 9 Then 
asked we those elders, and said unto them thus, Who 
commanded you to build this house, and to make up 

4. Then said v^e unto them] This reading is probably a copyist's 
error for ' Then said they,' i.e. Tattenai and his friends, who make 
the further inquiry concerning the Jewish leaders. See also v. 10. 

5. But the eye of their God was upon the elders'} Cf. Deut. xi. 
12 ; Ps. xxxiii. 18. 

&-17. Opponents appecd to Darius. 

6. Tatnai, governor etc.] See note on v. 3. the Aphar- 
sachites, irhich were on this side the river'] R.V. ... which were 
beyond the river. Possibly the same as the Apharsathchites of 
iv. 9, but nothiug is known of this tribe. 

8. the province of Judea] Pi.V. the province of Judah. 
See note on ii. 1. ' Judea ' is a later title, occurring first in the 
Apocrypha (Tob. i. 18, etc.). the house of the great God] Note 

the reverence of the heathen governor towards the God of the 
subject race. great stones] lit. ' stones of roUing,' i.e. so large 

that they were moved to their places on rollers. See the pictures 
of large blocks of stone and marble in ancient temples of the 
East. timber is laid in the walls] i.e. beams to support floors 

and roofs. goeth fast on] R.V. goeth on with diligence. 

3—2 



36 EZRA, V. 10-16 

these walls? ''OWe asked their names also, to certify 
thee, that we might write the names of the men that 
were the chief of them. "•''And thus they returned us 
answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of 
heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded 
these many years ago, which a great king of Israel 
builded and set up. ""^Bu^t after that our fathers had 
provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them 
into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, 
the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the 
people away into Babylon. i3But in the jQjst year of 
Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a 
decree to build this house of God. ""^And the vessels 
also of gold and silver of the house of God, which 
Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that ivas in 
Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, 
those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of 
Babylon, and they icere dehvered unto o)ie, whose name 
was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; 15 and 
said unto him, Take these vessels, go, carry them into 
the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of 
God be builded in his place. ''6 Then came the same 
Sheshbazzar, aiid laid the foundation of the house of 
God which is in Jerusalem: and since that time even 
until now hath it been in building, and yet it is not 



10. the chief of them] R.V. at the head of them. 

11. the servants of the God of heaven and earth] a very 
emphatic sentence in the origmal. a great Jcing] i.e. Solomon, 
whose temple was building 1014-1007, nearly 500 years before 
Darius. and set up] E.Y. finished. 

12. after that] R.V. marg. ' because that,' a preferable rendering. 
provoked... unto torath] See 11. Chron. xxxvi. 14-21. the 

Chaldean] i.e. Babylonian. 

14, ichom he had made governor] lit. 'pekhah,' an Assyrian title, 
equivalent to the Persian ' Tu'shatha.' In Haggai i. 1 Zerubbabel 
is called ' pekhah.' See note on i. 8. 

16. since that time] the building had apparently gone on during 
the interval, 536-520, but on a small and unimportant scale. 



EZRA, V. 17-YI. 3 37 

finished. ''^Now therefore, if it seeni good to the king, 
let there be search made in the king's treasure house, 
which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a 
decree ivas made of Cyrus the king to build this house 
of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure 
to us concerning this matter. 

vi. 1-12. TJie Decr^ee of Darius. 

t> Then Darius the king made a decree, and search 
was made in the house of the roUs, where the 
treasures were laid up in Babylon. 2 And there was 
found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province 
of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus 
written : 

3 In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus 
the king made a decree concerning the house of God at 
Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where 
they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof 

17. the Mng's treasure housel where documents as well as 
treasure were laid up. See Esther iii. 9, iv. 7, where the same word 
is used. 

Ch. vi. 1-12. The Decree of Darius. 

1. in the house of the rolls] R.V. in the house of the 

archives (marg. Aram.aic ' books '). This must have been a state 
library containing rolls of parchment and iDapjrus, and also records 
inscribed with a sharp point on clay tablets, such as are found in 
great numbers at this day during the explorations near Nineveh and 
Babylon. 

2. Achmetha] the Aramaic form of Ecbatana, the capital of 
Media, and summer residence of the Persian kings. Possibly the 
records had been transferred thither from Babylon during the dis- 
turbed reign of the usm-per Pseudo-Smerdis. the palace] i.e. 
the royal residence, which was probably also the citadel and the 
treasury. the province of the Medes] Media lay between the 
Caspian Sea and Elam, having Parthia on the east and Mt Zagros 
on the west. Cyrus (550 B.C.) overcame Astyages, King of Media, 
and united the province with the Persian kingdom. 

3. See R.V. for the punctuation — the phrase ' concerning... Jeru- 
salem' forms a heading in the original. let the foniidations 
thereof he strongly laid] the meaning of the Aramaic here is uncer- 



38 EZRA, YI. 4-8 

be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cnbits, 
and the breadth thereof threescore cubits ; ^ with three 
rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: ajid 
let the expenses be given out of the king's house: 5 and 
also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of 
God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the 
temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, 
be restored, and brought again unto the temple which 
is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place tlieni 
in the house of God. 6 Now therefore, Tatnai, governor 
beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions 
the Apharsachites, which are beyond the river, be ye 
far from thence: 7 let the work of this house of God 
alone ; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the 
Jews build this house of God in his place. S^Joreover 
I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these 
Jews for the building of this house of God : that of the 



tain. Tlie dimensions ■which follow, if correct, prove this tomple to 
have been much larger than Solomon's, yet see Zech. iv. 10; Hagg. 
ii. 3. 

4. This V. has been variously explained, but probably I. Kings 
vi. 36, refeiTing to the construction of the inner court walls, is the 
best solution. out of the Jcing's house] i.e. from the royal 
revenue, to be furnished probably by the satrap out of the provincial 
treasury. 

5. a7id ]jlace them] E.V. and thou shalt put them... 
AbiTipt change to 2nd pers. sing. Sheshbazzar is evidently here 
addressed. 

6. The Decree of Darius, containing (a) the prohibition of inter- 
ference, (h) the command to supply money and material, (c) the 
king's desire for prayer on behalf of himself and his sons, (d) the 
penalty of non-compliance. The decree of Darius follows that 
of Cyi'us without any word of explanation from the Compiler. 
he ye far from thence] i.e. keep away from Jerusalem, and do 
not interfere with the work. 

8. of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river] i.e. of 
that part of the revenues of the province west of the Euphrates 
which was paid into the royal treasury, as distinguished from the 
rest, which was used by the satrap for administi'atiou and his own 



EZRA, VI. 9-12 39 

king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forth- 
with expenses be given unto these men, that they be not 
hindered. 9 And that which they have need of, both 
young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt 
offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and 
oil, according to the appointment of the priests which 
are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day with- 
out fail: ""Othat they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours 
unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the 
king, and of his sons. "■'■Also I have made a decree, 
that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be 
pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him 
be hanged thereon ; and let his house be made a dung- 
hill for this. ■'2^\n(j the God that hath caused his name 
to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall 
put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of 



support. forth icith] E.V. with all diligence — a Persian word 

implying care and attention. that they be not hindered] a 

better rendering is ' which is not to be neglected,' an abrupt sentence 
showing the urgency of the decree. 

9. for the burnt oferings] cf . rii. 17, one chief class of offering, 
while the meal offering (flour, oil, salt, etc.j follows, as the other 
chief class. Cf. Num. xv. 1-16 ; Ex. xxix. 40 ; Lev. ii. 1-16. 

10. sacrifices of sweet savours] E.V. ...savour. Cf. the expres- 
sion in Ex. xxix. 18; Lev. i. 9, etc., with Geu. viii. 21, which refers 
to the acceptableness of the offering. It may have reference also to 
the incense used. pray for the life etc.] Cf. Jer. xxix. 7. 
Prayer for GentUe kings is referred to again in Baruch i. 11, which 
should be compared with this passage. 

11. whosoever shall alter] See Dan. vi. 15, " It is a law of the 
Medes and Persians that no interdict nor statute which the king 
establisheth may be changed" (Pi.T.), from which comes our pro- 
verbial phrase 'a law of the Medes and Persians.' The terrible 
punishment of impalement (alluded to in Assyrian and Persian in- 
scriptions) is here named as the penalty; or the reference may 
possibly be to a form of crucifixion. Cf . Num. xxv. 4, 5. 

12. the God that hath caused his name etc.] a Hebrew phrase 
(often used in the O.T.) inserted by the CompUer in his rough out- 
line of the Decree of Darius. to alter and to destroy] i.e. to 



40 EZRA, VI. 13-16 

God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a 
decree; let it be done with speed. 

13-18. Completion and Consecration of the Temple. 

■■3 Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, 
Shethar-boznai, and their companions, according to 
that which Darius the king had sent, so they did 
speedily. I'^And the elders of the Jews builded, and 
they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the 
prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they 
builded, and finished it, according to the commandment 
of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment 
of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 
15 And this house was finished on the third day of the 
month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign 
of Darius the king. iGAnd the children of Israel, the 
priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of 

alter the decree aud destroy the temple. speed] E.V. diligence. 

See vv. 8 and 13. 

13-18. Completion and Consecration of the Temple. 

14. through the prophesying] the workers were encouraged by the 
promises and stirred up by the zeal of Haggai and Zechariah, e.g. 
' The latter glory of this house shall be gi*eater than the former,' 
Hagg. ii. 9 (E.Y.). ' Thus saith the Lord : I am returned to Jeru- 
salem with mercies ; my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of 
hosts,' etc. Zech. ii. 16 (E.V.) etc. See note on v. 1. E.V. the 
decree of Cyrus. A word differing slightly from that used for 
the ' comanandment ' of God. Artaxerxes] Why does his name 
occur in this connexion ? His decree quoted in iv. 18-22 was one 
of opposition to the Jews, so cannot be the one here referred to. 
The Compiler must have once more (see note to iv. 7) anticipated later 
history, and inserted the name here, although it does not belong to 
the period of the events he is recording. 

15. Adar] the 12th month of the Jewish calendar, which con-e- 
sponded to our March. The name is probably from an Assyrian god 
' Adar.' The work had been going on for 4J years (see Hagg. i. 15), 
though the foundations were laid 20 years before. The year is 
516 B.C. 

16. the children of Israel] the title is used here to mark the im- 



EZRA, VI. 17-20 41 

the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God 
with joy, 1 7 and offered at the dedication of this house 
of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four 
hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, 
twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes 
of Israel, ^s^nd they set the priests in their divisions, 
and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, 
which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of 
Moses. 

19-22. Celebration of the Passover, 

"•^And the children of the captivity kept the passover 
upon the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 Por the 
priests and the Levites were purified together, all of 
them were pure, and killed the passover for all the 

portance of the festival. imtk joy] some commentators hold 

that Pss. cxlvi.-cxlviii. were composed for this occasion, possibly by 
Haggai and Zechariah ; but there is no definite proof of this. 

17. at the dedication of this house] a comparison is here implied 
between these sacrifices and those far more costly ones made by 
Solomon on a simUar occasion. See I. Kings viii. 5, 63, and cf. 
Zech. iv. 10. a sin offering. . .twelve he goats'] Cf . Num. \'ii. 87. 
The number here symbohzes the twelve tribes, signifying that al- 
though these were now lost and scattered, the scanty remnant who 
had returned stiU clung to the ideal of the nation's unity, and hoped 
yet for full restoration to their former glory. 

18. the -priests in their divisions] the organization of the priests 
and Levites, described in I. Chron. xxiii.-xxvi. as it is written 
in the book of Moses] probably a general reference to the Levitical 
arrangements, as described in Chronicles. See also Num. iii. and 
viii. The Aramaic section (iv. 8— vi. 18) ends here. See note on 
iv. 8. 

19—22. Celebration of the Passover. 

19. the first month] Nisan. See Ex. xii. 6. The recorded cele- 
brations of the Passover were always held on some specially 
solemn occasion, when the peojile were re-consecrated to the ser- 
vice of God. See Num. ix. 5 ; Josh. v. 10 ; 11. Chron. xxx. 1, 2 ; 
n. Kings xxiii. 21 — which are the only other Passovers recorded in 
the O.T. 

20. From this verse we gather that 'the Levites' killed the 
passover for the rest, and by comparing with 11. Chron. xxix. 34 it 
seems that they were more strict in observance of the ceremonial 



42 EZRA, YI. 21-VII. 1 

children of the captivity, and for their brethren the 
priests, and for themselves. 21 ^^j^d the children of 
Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all 
such as had separated themselves unto them from the 
filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord 
God of Israel, did eat, 22 and kept the feast of unleavened 
bread seven days with joy: for the Lord had made 
them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria 
unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the 
house of God, the God of Israel. 

Part II. Chaps. VII.-X. The Return under Ezra. 

vii. 1-5. Ezra's Genealogy. 
'7 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes 
king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of 

law than the more numerous ' priests.' The O.T. gives us three 
stages of custom as regards the slaughter of the Paschal lamb, 
(a) Originally it was perfoi-med by the head of each household (Ex. 
xii. 3 etc.). {b) In the days of Hezekiah, the Levites killed for aU 
who were ceremonially unclean (II. Chron. xxx. 17). (c) In the days 
of Josiah, the Levites killed for all alike (II. Chron. xxxv. 10-14). 
The reasons for the change were (1) to secure ceremonial purity, 
(2) to reUeve the priests. 

21. Two classes who shared the feast, (1) the returned exiles, 
(2) those who had ' separated themselves.' These latter were prob- 
ably Israelites who had remained in Palestine and mingled with the 
heathen races around ; ' the filthiness ' is the idolatry with which 
they had been to some extent polluted. Some think however that 
the phrase refers to proselytes from the heathen themselves ; but 
see ix. 1 and x. 11. 

22. seven days] Ex. xii. 15. the hing of Assyria] i.e. Darius 
(King of Persia), so called possibly because the Persian kings suc- 
ceeded to the Assyrian Empire, or because aU West Asia might be 
called ' Assyria.' The phrase may however be a copyist's error. 

Paet n. Chaps. VII.-X. The Eeturx u>t)ek Ezea. 

Ch. vii. 1-5. Ezra's Genealogy. 

1. Now after these things] a gap of 58 years (516-458) between 
this and the last chapter is here bridged over, and the whole reign 
of Xei-xes is omitted, except for the allusion in iv. 6. The story of 
Esther falls within this iuterval. in the reign of Artaxerxes] 



EZRA, VII. 2-6 43 

Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallmn, the son 
of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the 
son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, ''■the son of 
Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the 
son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest: 

6-10. Arrival at Jerusalem. 

^this Ezra went up from Babylon ; and he ivas a 
ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God 
of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his 
request, according to the hand of the Lord his God 

son of Xerxes, reigned 465-425. Ezra's genealogy is traced back to 
Aaron, but is given in an abbreviated form, as only 15 names occur, 
representing a period of 1000 years. Jewish genealogies were often 
shortened and re-arranged in artificial groups (cf. the three-fold 
grouping in S. Matt. i. 1-16). Some names may also have accidentally 
dropped out through carelessness of copyists. son ofSeraiah'} i.e. 
probably descended from a son of Seraiah, who had been the High 
Priest slain 130 years before by Nebuchadnezzar (U. Kings xxv. 
18-21). Many of the gaps in this genealogy can be filled up from 
I. Chron. and I. and U. Esdras (Apocr.). HilhiaK] the High 

Priest of Josiah's reign (11. Kings xxii. 4). 

5. Phinehas] Ps. cvi. 30 records his act of zeal when he stayed 
the plague which was punishing the people for idolatry. Aaron 
the chief priest'] lit. ' head-priest.' Before the Captivity the High 
Priest was usually called merely ' the priest,' and the later title is 
not found often in the Pentateuch. 

6-10. Arrival at Jerusalem. 

6. went up] i.e. to Jerusalem. a ready scribe] one who 
was quick and apt in explaining the law. The word ' scribe ' (Heb. 
' sopher ') was originally the title of the king's secretary or chancellor 
(cf. II. Sam. viii. 17; I. Kings iv. 3, etc.). In the closing days of 
the Monarchy it was applied to the copyists of the Law ( Jer. viii. 8), 
and after the Captivity the name denoted the important class who 
not only copied but also explained the written law to the people. 
They became in time most prominent members of the community, 
superseding the prophet and in influence surpassing the priest. 
Ezra is generally regarded as the founder of the later type of scribes. 
all his request] we are not told what this was, but may gather the 
substance from vv. 12-26. according to the hand of the Lord 



44 EZRA, VII. 7-10 

upon him. 7 And there went up some of the children of 
Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the 
singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jeru- 
salem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 
8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which 
was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For upon the 
first day of the first month began he to go up from 
Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came 
he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God 
upon him. lOFor Ezra had prepared his heart to seek 
the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel 
statutes and judgments. 

his God upon hini] a characteristic phrase of the writer (vii. 9, 28, 
viii. 18, 22, 31 ; Neh. ii. 8, 18). It expresses the Divine favour shown 
towards a man. 

7. The nation divided into Laity (' some of the children of Israel '), 
Priests, Levites, Singers, Porters, Nethinim, as in ch. ii. the 
Nethinims] See note on ii. 43. the seventh year of Artaxerxes] 
i.e. 458 B.C. 

8. he came] i.e. Ezra, the leader of the caravan. the fifth 
month] the Jewish Ab, answering roughly to our August. 

9. hegan he to go iip] lit. ' that was the foundation of the going 
up ' (Heb.), a clumsy and awkward constnietion in the original ; a 
clearer reading than the above is ' he had appointed to go up,' viz. on 
the 1st day of the 1st month, which was Nisan (March-April). The 
journey lasted about 108 days, and was in length about 900 miles, 
owing to the detour by Carchemish which Ezra made to avoid the 
desert. It was in the hot summer mouths, so the caravan would 
travel only at night and in the early morning, and as it consisted of 
whole families carrying with them all their private possessions, it 
would move but slowly. the fifth month] Ab (August). 

10. For Ezra etc.] this verse probably refers back to the whole 
account of Ezra's expedition, and sets forth his motives in starting 
on this great jomTiey. had prepared (B-.N. set) his heart] the 
verb has the idea of ' stabihty of purpose.' Cf . Ps. Ivii. 7, cviii. 1, 
etc. to seek the laxo] i.e. to search out the spii-it underlying the 
letter of God's commandments. This verse gives us a picture of 
"the ideal scribe," in his relation to the law, his own life, and his 
teaching of other men. Cf. Acts i. 1,' to do and to teach.' statutes 
and judgments] i.e. set i-ules of conduct, and those which custom, 
justice, or authority determine. 



EZKA, VII. 11-14 45 

11-26. Artaxerxes' Commission to Ezra. 

■""•Now this is the copy of the letter that the kmg 
Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a 
scribe of the words of the commandineiits of the Lord, 
and of his statutes to Israel : 

"•2 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a 
scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, 
and at such a time, ""^i make a decree, that all they 
of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in 
my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go 
up to Jerusalem, go with thee. 1^ Forasmuch as thou 
art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellers, to 

11-26. Artaxerxes' Commission to Ezra. 

The contents of the letter are in Aramaic (see note iv. 7), not in 
Hebrew. 

11. Ezra the priest'] his priestly lineage has been given (uu. 1-5). 
even a scribe] K.V. even the scribe. 

12. Jcing of kings] a title often found (on inscriptions) apphed to 
Persian monarchs, who ruled over many subject kingdoms. the 
God of heaven] the same title occurs in the letters of Darius (vi. 
9, 10) and of Tattenai (v, 11, 12), though in the latter example it 
occurs in quotation merely. perfect peace, and at such a time] 
K.V. perfect and so forth. Probably the elaborate salutation is 
here condensed, and ' perfect ' refers to Ezra, being most likely one 
of a whole list of compUmentary adjectives, after the Eastern manner 
of greeting. The Commission may be thus analyzed : (a) the salu- 
tation, (b) permission to return to Jerusalem, (c) the objects of the 
Commission — (1) to enquire into the condition of the community at 
Jerusalem, (2) to carry thither gifts from king and council, and 
from Babylonish subjects, and freewill offerings of Jewish priests 
and people — id) the purpose of aU these gifts (sacrifices and general 
needs), [e) permission to draw upon the local (royal) treasury for 
extra expenses, (/) credit up to a certain fixed sum granted to 
Ezra on all the local treasuries west of Euphrates, {g) the king's 
reason for all these favom's, viz. propitiation of ' the God of heaven,' 
(A) immunity from taxation granted to priests, Levites, etc., (t) Ezra 
empowered to appoint judges for his community, to teach them the 
Law, and to inflict the heaviest penalties for disobedience. 

13. his priests] E.V. their priests. 

ll. his seven counsellers] cf. Esther i. 14. to inquire] i.e. 



46 EZRA, YII. 15-21 

inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to 
the law of thy God which is in thine hand ; '•5 and to 
carry the silver and gold, which the king and his coun- 
sellers have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose 
habitation is in Jerusalem, ""Sand all the silver and gold 
that thou canst JQjid in all the province of Babylon, with 
the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, 
offering willingly for the house of their God which is in 
Jerusalem: '•'^that thou mayest buy speedily with this 
money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings 
and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar 
of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. is^Aoid 
whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, 
to do with the rest of the silver and gold, that do after 
the will of your God. "•^The vessels also that are given 
thee for the service of the house of thy God, those 
deUver thou before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And 
whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of 
thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, 
bestow it out of the king's treasure house, ^i^j^j i^ 
even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the 

concemiag the moral and religious condition of the Jewish com- 
munity. 

15. habitation'] i.e. the Temple. 

16. in all... Babylon] i.e. amongst those in whose midst the 
Jews had lived for 130 years. the freewiU offering] from 
their own countrymen. 

17. The sacrifices in this verse (as in vi. 9, 10) are burnt offerings 
(bullocks, rams, lambs) with their meal and drink offerings (Num. 
XV. 1-16). vieat offerings] E.V. meal offerings. 

19. The vessels] probably those presented by the king and 
private persons enumerated in viii. 25-27, and quite distinct from 
the sacred vessels restored by Cyrus (i. 7). the God of Jeru- 
salem] probably a shortened form for *the God of Israel whose 
habitation is in Jerusalem.' 

20. Leave granted to Ezra to draw upon the local treasury for 
extra sums. 

21. Credit (up to a certain fixed amount) granted to Ezra on all 
local treasmies west of the Euphi-ates. 



EZRA, YII. 22-26 47 

treasurers which are beyond the river, that •whatsoever 
Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of 
heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, 22 unto 
an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred 
measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, 
and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without pre- 
scribing Jwiv much. 23 "\;\'i2atsoever is commanded by 
the God of heaven, let it be dihgently done for the house 
of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath 
against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 ^so 
ice certify you, that touching any of the priests and 
Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this 
house of God, it sliall not he lawful to impose toll, 
tribute, or custom, upon them. 25 And thou, Ezra, 
after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, 
set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the 
people that are beyond the river, all such as know the 
laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them 
not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, 

22. an hundred talents oi silver'] dihoxii £B1 ^oQO. measures'] & 
'measure ' = 8 bushels or 1 quarter. baths'] a ' bath ' = 6 or 
7 gallons. salt'j See Lev. ii. 13. Salt was used with every 
meat offering — (1) for purification, (2) for preserTation. 

23. ichy should there he vyrath etc.] the king wished to win the 
favour of the mighty God of the Jews, especially at this time when 
he was harassed by foes on many sides, and was occupied in putting 
down the revolt of Egypt. 

24. Nethinims'\ E.V. Nethiziiin. See ii. 43. ministers'] 
E.V. seirvants. Josephus records a similar immunity from tax- 
ation gi-anted to the priests and Levites by Antiochus the Great. 

25. This commission gave Ezra special powers over all Jews in 
Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. and teach ye them etc.] Pi.V. 
teach ye him, i.e. every Jew who had become forgetful or careless 
of his rehgious duties while living amongst the heathen. 

26. Full powers over life, limb, and property were entrusted to 
Ezra, yet his commission did not make him superior to the Persian 
ofl&cials of the satrapy, but was intended merely to help him in his 
work of re-organising the Jewish community and estabhshing the 
Law. The Aramaic section ends here. 



48 EZRA, yn. 27-VIII. 2 

and the law of the king, let judgment be executed 
speedily upon him, whether it he unto death, or to 
banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprison- 
ment. 

27, 28. Ezra's TJianksgiving. 

27 Blessed he the Lord God of our fathers, which hath 
put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify 
the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: 28 and 
hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his 
counsellers, and before all the king's mighty princes. 
And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my 
God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel 
chief men to go up with me. 

viii. 1-20. List of Ezra's Company. 

Q These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is 

the genealogy of them that went up with me from 

Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king. 2 Qf the 

sons of Phinehas; Gershom: of the sons of Ithamar; 

27, 28. Ezra's Thanksgiving. 

27. This verse marks a fresh abrupt transition of snbject, and 
the Hebrew is here resumed. 

28. viercy unto me] the 1st person is here used for the first time 
and continues to the end of ix. the hand of the LORD my God 
waswpoTi 7?ie] of. v. 6 and note. of Israel] i.e. of the laity. 

Ch. viii. 1-20. List of Ezra's CompoMy. 

(a) Heads of Fathers' Houses, 1-14. (6) Levites and Nethinim, 
17-20. 

1. the chief of th eir fathers'] R. V. the heads of their fathers' 

houses ; here follows a list with the names of the clans (or ' houses ') 
and of their chiefs. For the right punctuation of vr. 2-14 see R.V. 

2. First come the Priestly and Eoyal houses. Ezra belonged to 
the house of Phinehas (cf. vii. 1-5). Ithamar] Aaron's younger 
son, himself the founder of a ' house.' This reference proves that 
the priesthood was not limited to the line of Zadok (Ezek. xliii. 19, 
xliv. 15). ' Of the sons of David, Hattush the son of Shechaniah,' 
is the clearest rendering of the next clause. 



EZRA, YIII. 3-15 49 

Daniel : of the sons of David ; Hattush. 3 Of the sons 
of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh ; Zechariah : and 
with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an 
hundred and fifty. ''•Of the sons of Pahath-moab; 
Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two 
hundred males. ^Of the sons of Shechaniah; the son 
of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males. 6 of 
the sons also of Adin ; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and 
with him fifty males. 7 And of the sons of Elam; 
Jeshaiah the son of AthaHah, and with him seventy 
males. 8 And of the sons of Shephatiah; Zebadiah 
the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males. 
9 Of the sons of Joab; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and 
vrith him two hundred and eighteen males. ''OAnd of 
the sons of Shelomith ; the son of Josiphiah, and with 
him an hundred and threescore males. '•'•And of the 
sons of Bebai ; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with 
him twenty and eight males. ""^And of the sons of 
Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him 
an hundred and ten males. "•^And of the last sons of 
Adonikam, whose names are these, Ehphelet, Jeiel, and 
Shemaiah, and with them threescore males. '■''• Of the 
sons also of Bigvai ; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them 
seventy males. 

"•SAnd I gathered them together to the river that 

3-14. The houses of the Laity, identical (^vith two slight differ- 
ences) with the lists in ch. ii. and Neh. vii. Twelve households are 
given, possibly to symbolize the unity of the restored nation. The 
parallel list of I. Esdras corresponds, with but few variations in 
names and numbers. The list in Ezra ii. gives the total numbers ; 
here we have the number of males onhj. 

13. of the last sons of Adoniham'' E.V. of the sons of 
Adonikam, that were the last. Probably the elder branches 
of this family had returned with Zerubbabel fii. 13) and now the 
younger branches, 'the last,' joiued Ezra, and were represented by 
three names instead of by one, as in the other cases of the ' heads of 
houses.' 

15-20. The Camp at Ahava. 

15. the river that runneth to Ahaval This river lias been 

EZRA a>:d neh. 4 



50 EZRA, Vni. 16-18 

runneth to Ahava; and there abode v^e in tents three 
days : and I viewed the people, and the priests, and 
found there none of the sons of Levi. ""SThen sent I 
for EUezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, 
and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and 
for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief meyi ; also for 
Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding. "^^ And 
I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at 
the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should 
say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at 
the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us 
ministers for the house of our God. ""S And by the good 
hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of 
understanding, of the sons of Mahh, the son of Levi, the 
son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his 



variously identified, (a) with the Palacopas, which flowed S. of 
Babylon ; (h) with the Is, which flowed from the E. into the 
Euphrates at a point where stood a town of the same name, eight 
days' jom-ney from Babylon ; (c) with a canal near Babylon : this 
last theory seems the most probable, as the caravan had evidently 
not started upon the march, but must have been reviewed at no 
great distance from Babylon. Probably the Jews were wont to 
meet for worship by the banks of rivers (cf. Ps. cxxxvii. 1), as we 
know then- custom was in later times (cf . Acts xvi. 13). none of 

the sons of Levi] Only 74 Levites retm-ned with Zerubbabel, though 
there were over 4000 priests. Probably the Levites had assisted 
in the worship at ' high places,' and had taken part in other idola- 
trous rites for many years past, and so were unwilling to return to 
the Temple service. 

16. men of xmderstanding] E.V. which were teachers. 

17. Iddo the chief] probably the Levite at the head of a college 
of young Levites and Nethinim at Casiphia, which was most likely 
a village neai' Babylon. The rest of this verse is doubtful in mean- 
ing, as the Heb. text is here cormpt ; the most probable reading is 
'unto Iddo and his brethren (i.e. Levites) and the Nethinim." He 
evidently presided over both Levites and Nethinim. 

18. hy the good hand] See note vii. 6. a man of under- 
standing] Pi. V. a man of discretion ; his name appears to have 
di-opped out of the text. 



EZRA, VIII. 19-24 51 

brethren, eighteen; is and Hashabiah, and with him 
Jeshaiah of the sons of ^Merari, his brethren and their 
sons, twenty ; 20 also of the Nethinims, whom David and 
the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, 
two hundred and twenty Nethinims: all of them were 
expressed by name. 

21-23. The Solemn Fast. 

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, 
that we might afflict oui'selves before our God, to seek of 
him a right way for us, and for our httle ones, and for 
all our substance. '^'^'Fov I was ashamed to require of 
the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us 
against the enemy in the way : because we had spoken 
unto the king, saying. The hand of our God is upon all 
them for good that seek him; but his power and his 
wrath is against all them that forsake him. 23 go -^e 
fasted and besought our God for this: and he was 
intreated of us. 

24-30. The Custody of the Gifts. 
24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, 

20. all. ..expressed by name'} the idea is that of names 'pricked 
oflf ' on a list, which the compiler did not think it necessary to insert 
here. 

21-23. The Solemn Fast. 
This was appointed by Ezra, (a) as a sign of submission and 
repentance ; (b) to strengthen the religious fer\'our of the people ; 
(c) as a proof of faith and dependence on God alone. 

21. afiict ourselves] E.V. humble ourselves, N.B. 7iot the 
pagan idea of propitiation by self-inflicted physical suffei-ing, as the 
A.V. imphes. 

22. a band of soldiers] Cf. Neh. ii. 9. The danger lay in the 
possibility of sudden attacks by robbers and Bedoums in the 
desert. The hand of our God] See vii. 6 and cf. E.V. 
forsaTte] i.e. by want of faith in the Divine protection. 

24-30. The Custody of the Gifts. 

24. The meaning of this t;. is not clear. See E.V. and R.Y. marg. 

4—2 



g2 EZRA, YIII. 25-30 

Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with 
them, 25 and weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, 
and the vessels, even the offering of the house of our 
God, which the king, and his counsellers, and his lords, 
and all Israel there present, had offered: 26 1 even 
weighed unto their hand six hundred and fifty talents 
of silver, and silver vessels an hundred talents, and of 
gold an hundi-ed talents; 27 also twenty basons of gold, 
of a thousand drams; and two vessels of fijie copper, 
precious as gold. 28 And I said unto them. Ye are holy 
unto the Lord ; the vessels are holy also ; and the silver 
and the gold are a freewill offering unto the Lord 
God of our fathers. 29^'atch ye, and keep them, until 
ye weigh tJiem before the chief of the priests and 
the LeviteSj and chief of the fathers of Israel, at 
Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord. 
30 So took the priests and the Levites the weight of the 
silver, and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to 
Jerusalem unto the house of our God. 



The latter is probably right, — 'I separated 12... of the priests 
besides Sherebiah ' etc., i.e. in all, 12 Levites and 12 priests were 
selected as guardians of the gifts ; see also v. 30. 

25. the silver etc.] see vii. 15-19, 27. 

26. The huge sums here mentioned have given rise to doubts as 
to the accuracy of the figures, the total value amounting to nearly 
£1,000,000 of om- money! 

A talent of silvers £375. A talent of gold = £6,750. A dram 
(E.Y. daric) = £l. These reckonings are as nearly coiTect as 
possible, but it is difficult to give the exact value of the Jewish 
measm'es in our money. 

27. Jine copper] R.Y. fine bright brass. 

28. Te are holy unto the Lord] i.e. consecrated to the Lord, set 
apart for His service. 

29. chief of the fathers] E.Y. princes of the fathers' 
houses. the chambers of thehouse of the Lord] See I. Kings 
\\. 5 and I. Chron. xxviii. 12 for a description; they were store- 
rooms and meeting-places for the priests. 



EZRA, VIII. 31-35 53 

31-36. The Journey and Arrival. 

31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the 
twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem : 
and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered 
us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in 
wait by the way. 32 ^n(j ^rg came to Jerusalem, and 
abode there three days. 33 Now on the fourth day was 
the silver and the gold and the vessels weighed in the 
house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of 
Uriah the priest ; and with him teas Eleazar the son of 
Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of 
Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, Levites ; 34 by- 
number and by weight of every one : and all the weight 
was written at that time. ^^Also the children of those 
that had been carried away, which were come out of the 
captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, 

31-36. TTie Journey and Arrival. 

31. Ahava"] see v. 15. the twelfth day of the first month] 
Cf . vii. 8 and viii. 15. The halt at Ahava lasted three days, and 
if Ahava was near Babylon (see note, v. 15), the actual inarch 
cannot have begun till the 12th day (of 'Nisan'), the arrival at 
Ahava being assigned to the 9th day : while if Ahava is identified 
with Is, the journey from Babylon thitlier would have taken about 
nine days, in which case the actual march began on the 1st. 

32. Vie came to Jerusalem] on the 1st day of the 5th month 
(Ab). See note on vii. 9. three days] this was an interval for 
rest after the long journey, and to prei)are plans; cf. Neh. ii. 11, 
where the same interval elapses after Nehemiah's arrival. 

33. weighed.. -by the hand of] E.V. weighed... into the hand 
of. Meremoth and his three companions probably received the 
treasure after it had been weighed, and were responsible hence- 
forth for its safety. For the names in this v. cf. Neh. iii. 4, 21, 
X. 9, xii. 3, 8, 42. 

35. the children of those that had been carried away] E.V. the 
children of the captivity, the oft-repeated title ('hag-golah'). 
See ii. 1, vi. 19 etc. The offerings of Ezra's company as here 
detailed are nearly the same as those offered by Zerubbabel's 
company at the dedication of the Temple (vi. 17) : bullocks, rams, 
and lambs are in both cases sacrificed, and in the name of the 



54 EZRA, VIII. 36-IX. 1 

twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, 
seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin 
offering: aU this was a bm:nt offering unto the Lord. 
36 And they dehvered the king's commissions unto the 
king's heutenants, and to the governors on this side the 
river : and they furthered the people, and the house of 
God. 



ix. 1-5. Israel's Sin. 



9 



Now when these things were done, the princes came 
to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, 
and the Levites, have not separated themselves from 
the people of the lands, doing according to their 



whole people. hoelve hullocks] to symbolize the ideal unity 

of the nation, though now scattered and diminished. 7iinety 

and six 7'ams'\ eight for each tribe. seventy and seven lamhs] the 
consecrated number magnified, to mark the solemnity of the 
occasion. all this was a burnt offering] i.e. was completely 

consumed by the sacrificial fire. The offering was one of thanks- 
giving (for protection dui-ing the long journey) and of consecration 
(of the new life of the restored community). 

36. commissions'] the word is only found elsewhere in the O.T. 
m. the Ai'amaic sections, and is variously translated as 'law' and 
' decree.' the hings lieutenants] K.V. the king's satraps, 

a Persian word which occurs often m Esther and Daniel; the 
' satrap ' was the governor of a province under the Persian Empu-e, 
and was responsible to the king for all his acts. His power was 
kept in check by the royal official scribe who kept the king 
informed of aU that went on in the satrapy. the governors] i.e. 

the ' pekhahs ' (such as Tatnai, v. 3, 4, and Zerubbabel, vi. 7), who 
were subordinate to the satraps. Every satrapy was divided into 
smaller districts, with a 'pekhah' to administer justice in each. 
'Tirshatha' seems to have been the Persian title for the 'pekhah' 
(ii. 63). on this side the river] E.V. beyond the river, i.e. 

Euphrates, see iv. 10. 

Ch. ix. 1-5, Israel's Sin. 
1. Noio when these things were done] i.e. probably about four 
months after the events in viii. 31-35. the princes] the 

heads of the families or clans. have not separated them- 

selves] i.e. by intermarriage with heathen tribes they had faUen 



EZRA, IX. 2^ 55 

abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, 
the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the 
Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they 
have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for 
their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled 
themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the 
hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this 
trespass, s^^^nd when I heard this thing, I rent my 
garment and my mantle, and pluckt off the hair of my 
head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. * Then 
were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the 
words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression 
of those that had been carried away ; and I sat astonied 



into idolatry, cf. vi. 21. their abominations] a familiar phrase 

in the O.T. for describing the impure forms of nature worship 
among the heathen. In this list of eight heathen peoples, three 
names (Ammonites, Moabites, and Egyptians) are added to the 
usual list of nations conquered by Israel, e.g. in Deut., Ex. and 
Josh., and represent the 'peoples' on the frontier with whom 
Israel came in contact. Cf. also Deut. xxiii. 3-7. 

2. the holy seed] i.e. the Chosen People, set apart and conse- 
crated to God. See Ex. xix. 5 and Isai. vi. 13. have mingled 
themselves] cf. Ps. cvi. 34, 35. rulers] marg. 'deputies' — the 
word in the original (' seganim ') is Assyrian in origin, and occurs 
frequently in Neh., also in Jer. and Ezek. These officials probably 
held inferior posts under the ' princes ' or governors, who were the 
chief authorities. 

3. I rent my garment and my mantle] as a sign of grief and 
horror — such symbolic rending of garments is often recorded in 
the Bible — e.g. in the case of Reuben, Gen. xxxvii. 29 ; Jacob, 
Gen. xxxvii. 34; his sons. Gen. xliv. 13 etc. etc., also in the N.T. 
S. Matt. xxvi. 65. The 'mantle' was the long flowing robe, and 
the ' garment ' the tunic worn beneath it. and jplucht off the 
hair] this sign of mourning occurs only here in the O.T., though 
the shaven head as a token of grief is often referred to, e.g. Job 
i. 20; Ezek. vii. 18. astonied] the word impHes a sense of 
overwhelming bewilderment, cf. Dan. iv. 19. 

4. those that had been carried aicay] E.V. them of the cap- 
tivity — Heb. ' hag-gulah ' the collective title as before — see ii. 1, 



56 EZRA, IX. 5-7 

until the evening sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice 
I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my 
garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and 
spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, ^and 
said, 

6-15. Ezra's Prayer. 

O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my 
face to thee, my God : for our iniquities are increased 
over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the 
heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers have we been 
in a great trespass unto this day ; and for our iniquities 
have we, our kings, and our priests, been deHvered into 
the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to 
captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is 

vi. 19, 20, etc. the evening sacrijice] the daily meal-oflfering 

(' minkhah ') offered every night. 

5. my heaviness] K.V. my humiliation — marg. 'fasting' — 
the word only occurs here in O.T. It became later the technical 
term for ceremonial fasting. having rent my garment and my 
mantle] K.V. even with my garment... rent, i.e. not for the 
second time, as the A.V. would imply. fell upon my hnees] 
both kneeling and standing are mentioned in O.T. as attitudes of 
prayer. See Ps. xcv. 6. Spreading out the hands was symbolic of 
the desire to receive the Divine gifts sent down from above. 

6-15. Ezra's Prayer. 

Cf. with Daniel's (Dan. ix. 4-19} and that of the Levites (Neh. 
ix. 6-38), two confessions of national sin. Analysis, (a) Con- 

fession of former sins (6, 7). (&) God's mercy acknowledged (8, 9). 
(c) God's command concerning intermarriage (10-12). {d) Con- 
fession of Israel's fresh disobedience and guilt (13-15). 

6. our iniquities are increased over our head] the metaphor 
taken from a flood, cf. Ps. xxxviii. 4. our trespass] R.V. our 
guiltiness, i.e. the condition resulting from sin, not the sin itseK. 

7. Since the days of our fathers] See Mai. iii. 7 ; the phrase 
evidently means ' from the tune when we first became a nation.' 
in a great trespass] E. V. exceedingly guilty. the Icings of 
the lands] i.e. of Assyria and Babylon. confusion of face] i.e. 
dishonour and shame, cf. Dan. ix. 7, 8. 



EZRA, IX. 8-11 57 

this day. 8 And now for a little space grace hath been 
shelved from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to 
escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our 
God may lighten our eyes, and give us a httle reviving 
in our bondage. ^For we were bondmen; yet our God 
hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended 
mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give 
us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to 
repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in 
Judah and in Jerusalem. "'OAnd now, our God, what 
shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy 
commandments, ""i which thou hast commanded by thy 
servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye 
go to possess it, is an unclean land with the fillhiness 

8. for a little space] it was 80 years since Zembbabel's retnm. 
a remnant to escape] from the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezek. 
xiv. 22) and afterwards from captivity (Neh. i. 3). a nail in his 
holy pl<ice] See Isai. xxii. 23, ' I will fasten him as a nail in a sure 
place,' where the prophet refers to Eliakim. Here the reference is 
to the returned community now once more established at Jeru- 
salem. The metaphor is taken either from a peg fastened into 
a wall, upon which vessels were hung, or from a tent-peg driven 
into the ground. The future of the nation depended upon the 
restored community, the 'naU' fixed in Jerusalem, with special 
reference to the Temple, ' the holy place,' the centre of the spiritual 
life of the whole nation, a little reviving] for they were stUl 
subject to foreign kings, andjiad not long escaped from the land of 
captivity. 

9. v:e were hondmen] K.V. we are bondmen, for they still 
bowed to the sovereignty of Persia. the desolations] R.V. the 
ruins. The Heb. word rendered ' wall ' refers usually to a fence 
round a vineyard, cf, the allegory in Is. v. 5 and Ps. Ixxx. 12. to 
give us a wall] the Persian power gave the Jews protection from 
the nations around. 

10. after this] referring to the recent guUt of the people in 
intermarriage with heathen. 

11. which thou hast commanded hy thy servayits the prophets] the 
passage which follows is found nowhere in the prophets, and it 
is probably not a quotation, but a summary of prophetical teaching 
on the subject of intermarriage, embodying also words and phrases 
from the Law (see especially Deut. vii. 1-3). This explanation 



68 EZRA, IX. 12-X. 1 

of the people of the lands, with their abominations, 
which have filled it from one end to another with their 
tmcleanness. ""^Now therefore give not your daughters 
unto then* sons, neither take their daughters unto your 
sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever : that 
ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and 
leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever. 
'3 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, 
and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast 
punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast 
given us mich deUverance as this; i* should we again 
break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the 
people of these abominations? wouldest thou not be 
angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there 
slwuld be no remnant nor escaping ? 15 o Lord God of 
Israel, thou art righteous : for we remain yet escaped, 
as it is this day : behold, we are before thee in our 
trespasses : for ice cannot stand before thee because of this. 

X. 1-5. TJie National Confession and Oath. 

1 Q Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had 
confessed, weeping and casting himself down 

has led many commentators to think that the whole passage is a 
quotation from Deut. 

12. their peace or their wecdih for ever] R.V. ...or their pros- 
perity... : the phrase occurs also in Deut. xxiii. 6, and may have 
been proverbial. 

13. trespass] E.Y. guilt, see note on v. 6. such deliver- 
ance] E.Y. such a remnant. 

15. Lord God of Israel] cf. the opening of the prayer — '0 
my God' — the personal feeling is swallowed up in the sense of 
national guilt and unworthiness. This verse admits the perfect 
justice of God's dealings in the past, and expresses the nation's 
present attitude of deep humiliation before Him. we cannot 

stand before thee] E.Y. none can stand before thee; the whole 
nation lay under the burden of guilt. Cf. Ps. Ixxvi. 7, cxxx, 3, 
because of this] i.e. this recent sin which the people had committed. 

Ch. X. 1-5. The National Confession and Oath. 
1. Now when Ezra had prayed.. .had confessed^] E.Y. Now 



EZRA, X. 2-5 59 

before the house of God, there assembled unto him out 
of Israel a very great congregation of men and women 
and children : for the people wept very sore. 2 ^^(j 
Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, 
answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed 
against our God, and have taken strange wives of the 
people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel 
concerning this thing. 3Xow therefore let us make a 
covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and 
such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my 
lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment 
of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 
^ Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also 
icill be with thee : be of good courage, and do it. 5 Then 



while Ezra prayed and made confession. The tense in the 
Heb. shows that the people were assembhng tkroughout the day 
while Ezra was publicly making suppUcation. The 1st person is 
here dropped for the first time since vii. 27, showing that the Com- 
piler in this chapter is not quoting verbatim from Ezra's memoirs. 
before the house of God] probably in one of the outer Temple 
courts. 

2. Shechaniah the son of Jehiel] of. v. 26. But it seems hardly 
Hkely that the Jehiel there mentioned was the same as Shechaniah's 
father here referred to. there is hope in Israel] i.e. grounds for 
hope. See Deut. xxx. 1-10. 

3. according to the counsel of my lord] E.V. marg. 'the Lord.' 
The Heb. is ' Adonai' = my Lord (which would refer to Jehovahj, 
but with the change of one letter (' Adoni ') this becomes ' my lord,' 
i.e. referring to Ezra (cf. Neh. iii, 5), which on the whole seems to 
give the best sense; the alteration is easily accounted for by the 
known tendency of Jewish scribes to introduce the Divine Name 
into the text wherever possible. according to the laio] with 
reference either to the general prohibition of intennarriage with 
heathen, or to the special laws of divorce (Deut. xxiv. 1-4). 

4. be of good courage, and do it] lit. ' be strong and do.' The 
same phrase of encouragement is used by David to Solomon con- 
cerning the building of the Temple (I. Chron. xxviii. 10), and by 
Jehoshaphat to the judges he appointed on a special occasion 
(L[. Chron. xis:. 11). 



60 EZRA, X. 6, 7 

arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and 
all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this 
word. And they sware. 

6-15. Tlie Great Assembly. 

6 Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and 
went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib : 
and wlien he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink 
water : for he mourned because of the transgression of 
them that had been carried away. 7 And they made 
proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all 
the children of the captivity, that they should gather 

5. the chief piiests] E.V. the chiefs of the priests. The 
word ' chiefs ' here refers to the leaders in each of the three sections 
of the community, i.e. of the priests, Levites, and laity. accord- 
ing to this word] namely, the proposal to put away all foreign 
wives. 

6-15. The Great Assemhlij. 

6. Johanan the son of Eliashib] E.V. Jehohanan. The best 
known Ehashib of this period was the High Pi-iest of Nehemiah's 
time. See also Neh. xii. (7,) 22, 23, where a grandson of the High 
Priest, called Johanan, is mentioned, and he may veiy possibly be 
identified with the Jehohanan of this verse. But a grandson of 
Eliashib the High Priest would at this time be a mere child, if 
indeed he was yet in existence ! How is it therefore that a Temple 
chamber is his at this early date of Ezras fii-st visit? The best 
explanation seems to be that the Compiler is here (as on a former 
occasion — ' Artaxerxes '" vi. 14) using language of a later (i.e. his 
own) date, and in describing the room which Ezra used, he employs 
the name by which it was kno'^Ti at the time he was writing. 
Another explanation is that the Jehohanan here mentioned may 
have been a different person altogether from the one mentioned in 
Neh. xii., though one would think that if he were an unknown and 
unimportant person, he was hardly likely to have had one of the 
Temple chambers assigned to him. when he came thither] 
R.V. marg. 'and he lodged there,' i.e. passed the night there. This 
rendering seems preferable to the A.V. 

7. throughout Judah and Jerusalem] in all the villages and in 
every comer of the city. the children of the captivity] Heb. 
' hag-golah,' the usual collective title in these two books (-^oii. 35, 



EZRA, X. 8-11 61 

themselves together w?ifo Jerusalem; Sand f/ia^ whoso- 
ever would not come within three days, according to the 
counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance 
should be forfeited, and himself separated from the 
congregation of those that had been carried away. 

9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered 
themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. 
It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the 
month ; and all the people sat in the street of the house 
of God, trembhng because of this matter, and for the 
great rain. lOAnd Ezra the priest stood up, and said 
unto them. Ye have transgressed, and have taken 
strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. '•'' Now 
therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your 
fathers, and do his pleasure : and separate yourselves 
from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. 

etc.). The proclamation probably took place some little time 
after Ezra's public prayer, as an interval would be needed for 
maturing plans. 

8. within three days] the short interval allowed for assembling 
shows the limited area occupied by the returned people. himself 
separated] i.e. excommunicated, made an outcast from the whole 
nation. 

9. the ninth month] Chislev, nearly corresponding to December. 
An interval of four months had elapsed since Ezra's arrival (see 
vii. 8). in the street of the hov^se of God] R.V. in the 
broad place "before the house of God, i.e. a large open court 
or square. the great raiyi] E.V. marg. ' the rains.' This was 
the rainy season which followed seed-time (cf . Deut. xi. 14) and 
was known as ' the early rain ' ; the ' latter rain ' falling in spring- 
time. 

Ezra's Address— (a) the offence, (h) the desired reform, con- 
sisting of confession and amendment. 

10. the trespass] E.V. the guilt, see note on ix. 6. 

11.. male confession] the Heb. verb so rendered is elsewhere 
used to mean * give thanks.' The present meaning is explained by 
the fact that true confession implies faith and love on the part of 
the penitent, who thus 'gives glory ' to God. from the people 

of the land] intercourse with the heathen around was to be stopped, 
as part of the general reform, and in addition to the divorce of the 
wives. 



62 EZRA, X. 12-15 

"•2 Then all the congi-egation answered and said with a 
loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do. ""SBut the 
people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we 
are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one 
daj' or two : for we are many that have transgi-essed in 
this thing. "''*Let now our rulers of all the congregation 
stand, and let all theni which have taken strange wives 
in our cities come at appointed times, and with them 
the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the 
fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from 
us. 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah 
the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: 
and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. 

12-14. These verses give a summary of the assembly's discussion 
and decision. 

13. ue are many thathave transgressed] E.V. we have greatly 
transgressed. 

14. The commission of inquiry was to consist of the princes, the 
local elders, and the judges, Avho were to investigate each case as it 
was brought up from the towns and villages to the court at Jeru- 
salem, tintil the fierce vjrath of our God for this matter be 
turned from us] There is reason to doubt the coiTectness of this 
rendering, as the verb in the original is transitive, and the word 
rendered ' until ' probably here bears the later Heb. meaning of 
' with a view to.' The whole phrase will then run, according to 
this theory, ' with a view to tm-n away the fierce wi-ath of our 
God.' for this matter] E.T. until this matter be 
dispatched. But here again there is possibly an eiTor in trans- 
lation, and the words according to later Hebrew usage would give 
the meaning ' as touching this matter.' See E.Y. mai-g. 

15. Only] i.e. nevertheless. tcere emjjioyed about this 
matter] E.Y. stood up against this matter. This rendering, 
which records the opposition to the reforms, is now considered 
more probable than that of the A.V., which gives the meaning of 
assistance instead of opposition. The E.Y. rendering is strength- 
ened by the use of the connecting word ' only ' (see note above). 
The four opponents here mentioned must have been the leaders, 
and they were probably supported- by many others who resented 
these stringent measures of reform. Meshullam] possibly the 
same as the MeshuUam of v. 29 ; he may have been subsequently 
persuaded to yield. Shabbethai the Levitt] specially mentioned 



EZRA, X. 16-18 63 

16, 17. Tlie Commission. 

"•6 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra 
the priest, luitli certain chief of the fathers, after the 
house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, 
were separated, and sat down in the first day of the 
tenth month to examine the matter. i^And they made 
an end with all the men that had taken strange wives 
by the first day of the first month. 

18-44. The List of Offenders. 

"•8 And among the sons of the priests there were fomid 
that had taken strange wives : namely, of the sons of 
Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren ; Maaseiah, 

no doubt owing to the fact that he v:as a Levite, and particularly 
bound by his position to support any legal reforms. helped 

them] Jonathan and Jahaziah were the principal leaders of the 
opposition, Meshullam and Shabbethai their subordinates. 

16, 17. The Commission. 

16. the children of the captivity] see ii. 1. Ezra the priesf] 
evidently acting as president of the court of inquiry. His priestly 
lineage is given vii. 1-5. Cf . also Xeh. viii. 9. chief of the 
fathers] E.V. heads of fathers' houses. v-ere separated] 
set apart for this special work. The phrase implies that only a 
certain number of the ' chiefs ' were selected (by Ezra, most 
probably) to serve on the commission. the first day of the 
tenth month] the first of Tebeth, answering to our January. Cf. 
Esther ii. 16. 

17. they made an end vjtth all the men] lit. ' they made an end 
with the whole (business),' i.e. 'the men that had, etc' The text 
is possibly corrupt in this verse. the first day of the first 
month] i.e. 1st of Nisan. The inquiry had lasted three months — 
Tebeth, Shebat, and Adar. 

18-44. The List of Offenders. 
(a) 18-22. Priests. 

18. Jeshua the son of Jozadah] the High Priest who came out 
of captivity with Zerubbabel's company. See iii. 8, and cf. also 
ii. 36-39, with the mention of Immer, Harim, and Pashur here 
(20-22). 



64 EZRA, X. 19-29 

and EKezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah. ""SAnd they gave 
their hands that they would put away their wires ; and 
being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their 
trespass. 20 And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, and 
Zebadiah. 21 Xj^^ Qf the sons of Harim ; Maaseiah, and 
Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah. 22Ajid 
of the sons of Pashiir; Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, 
Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah. 

23 Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and Shimei, and 
Kelaiah, (the same is Kehta.) Pethahiah, Judah, and 
Eliezer. 24 of the singers also; Ehashib: and of the 
porters ; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri. 

25 Moreover of Israel : of the sons of Parosh ; Eamiah, 
and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, 
and Malchijah, and Benaiah. 26 And of the sons of 
Elam ; Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and 
Jeremoth, and EHah. 27 And of the sons of Zattu; 
EHoenai, Ehashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and 
Zabad, and Aziza. 28 Qf the sons also of Bebai; 
Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. 29 And of 
the sons of Band; Meshullam, MaUuch, and Adaiah, 

19. they gave their hands] E.V. their hand, as a pledge of 
keeping faith. Cf. II. Kings x. 15; Ezek. xvii. IS. they 

offered a ram'j Probably this means that not only the priests, but 
all those who had sinned in this matter, had to offer a ram as guilt 
offering, emd the repetition of the phrase should be understood after 
each group of names in the Hst. 

(b) 23, 24. Levites, Singers, and Porters. The singers are 
specially mentioned aU through these books, and some have 
inferred from this fact that the chronicler himself belonged to 
their body. 

(c) 25-43. Thie Laitij, classed simply as 'of Israel.' All the 
houses here mentioned occur also in ch. ii., though the order of the 
list in the two cases is quite different, and in the hst of ch. x. the 
house of Bani occurs twice, which is probably due to a copyist's 
mistake. Again, to the house of the second Bani (i*. 34) is at- 
tributed such a large number of offenders, that it has been thought 
possible that the names of three other houses have dropped out of 
the list. 



EZRA, X. 30-44 65 

Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth. so^n^ of the sons 
of Pahath-moab ; Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, 
Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh. 3i And 
of the sons of Harim ; EHezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, 
Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32ggj2jainin, Malluch, and 
Shemariah. 33 Of the sons of Hashum; Mattenai, 
Mattathah, Zabad, EHphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and 
Shimei. 34 of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and 
Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, 
EHashib, 37 ]\iattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau, 38 and 
Bani, and Binnui, Shimei, 39 and Shelemiah, and 
Nathan, and Adaiah, ^o Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 
41 Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah, '*2 Shallum, 
Amariah, and Joseph. 43 of the sons of Nebo ; Jeiel, 
Mattithiah, Zebad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah. 
44 All these had taken strange wives: and some of them 
had wives by whom they had children. 



29. Ramoth] E.V. Jeremoth. 

43. Jadau\ E.V. Iddo. 

44. This concluding verse is full of difficulties in the Hebrew, 
both as regards gi-ammar and meaning (cf . also the parallel passage 
I. Esdras ix. 36, ' they put them away with their children '). It is 
probable that the text here, as in so many places, has suffered from 
careless copyists. There are two theories about the purport of the 
verse as it now stands ; (1) that it points out one of the great 
difficulties of such a reform, (2) that it shows how very completely 
Shechaniah's proposal {v. 3) was carried out. 

The extreme severity of Ezra's reform needs some explanation, 
especially when we recall the fact that the old strict laws (Ex. 
xxiii. 31-33, xxxiv. 12-16 ; Deut. vii. 1-5) against intermaiTiage 
with the nations of Canaan had since early times been set aside, 
or only partially obeyed. David and Solomon both married foreign 
wives; marriage with foreign captives was tolerated (Deut. xxi. 
10-14); the laws protecting life and property were extended to 
foreigners (Lev. xxiv. 22), who were even admitted to the sacred 
Passover Feast if they submitted first to circumcision (Ex. xii. 48, 
49) ; and, finally, the Edomites and Egyptians were admitted to 
the fuU privileges of Israelite citizenship, in the third generation 
Pent, xxiii. 7, 8). Ezra, who knew the Law from end to end, and 

EZRA AND NEH. 5 



66 EZRA, X. 44 

knew also how dangerous were the abuses which had from time 
to time crept in and stamed the pui-ity of the Chosen People, 
felt that now was the time for a thorough and most searching 
reform, and that the futui'e of the nation depended on the com- 
pleteness of the pm-ification he intended to effect. The ' remnant ' 
which now alone represented the holy nation was weak and sur- 
rounded by temptations ; it must be guarded and fenced in at all 
costs, if purity was to be maintained ; and the present i)eace and 
happiness of the many must be sacrificed, if the tnae gloi*y of the 
race which the prophets had foretold was ever to be realised. 



THE BOOK OF 

NEHEMIAH 

Paet IV. Nehemiah. Chaps. I.- VII. 73. Nehemiah's 
First Visit to Jerusalem. 

i. 1-11. Nehemiah's Grief and Prayer. 

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. 

And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in 

the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 

[Paet ni.i Ezea. Chap. TV. 7-24. Period of Hostility A^^) 
Persecution.] 

Part IV. Nehemiah. Chaps. I.-Vil. 73. Nehemiah's 
First Visit to Jerusalem. 

This section [i.-vii. 73 a] is an extract from the Memoirs of 
Nehemiah. 

Ch. i. 1-11. Nehemiah's Grief and Prayer, 

1. The vjords] E.V. marg. 'the history,' probably an editorial 
note to explain that what follows is Nehemiah's o^ti writing. 

Chisleu] PuV. Cbislev, the 9th month. There is a difficulty 
here ; for in ii. 1 the events there related are said to take place 
in the 1st month (Nisan) of this same ' 20th year ' of Artaxerxes, 
and yet they folloiced those described here. The discrepancy is 
hard to reconcile, and is probably due to a copyist's error. the 

tv:entieth year] 445 B.C. Shushan the palace] or Susa, the 

winter residence of the Persian kings, and former capital of Elam. 
Artaxerxes bmlt there a magnificent palace, of which some (probable) 
remains have recently been found, includmg a large piece of de- 
corated portico with an inscription in which the name of Artaxerxes 

1 See note on Ezra iv. 7. 

5—2 



68 NEHEMIAH, I. 2-6 

2 that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain 
men of Judah ; and I asked them concerning the Jews 
that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and 
concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me. The 
remnant that are left of the captivity there in the 
province are in great afi0.iction and reproach: the wall 
of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof 
are burnt with fire. '^And it came to pass, when I 
heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and 
mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before 
the God of heaven, 5 and said, I beseech thee, O Loed 
God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth 
covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe 
his commandments : 6 let thine ear now be attentive, 
and thine eyes open, that tliou mayest hear the prayer 
of thy servant, w^hich I pray before thee now, day and 
night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and 
confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we 
have sinned against thee: both I and my father's 



appears. 'The palace' probably was a special title of Shushan, 
implying that it was a stronghold as well as a royal capital. 

2. one of my hrethreii] i.e. a relative, not necessarily an actual 
brother. 

3. of the captivity] not the collective noun used in Ezra (Ezra 
ii. 1), but a word denoting * the scene or condition of captivity.' 
reproach] the scorn of enemies, see ii. 17, iv. 2, 3. the gates... 
are burnt with fire] the tense used seems to imjjly a recent disaster 
(lit. 'have been burned') and can hai'dly refer to the destruction of 
143 years before. Possibly the Samaritans (cf. Ezra iv.) had been 
forcibly resisting some attempt of the Jews (? led by Ezra) to re- 
build their fortifications. 

4. viourned] the verb for formal lamentation. the God 
of heaven] this Divine title occm-s often in Persian inscriptions. 
Nehemiah's prayer resembles Ezra's and Daniel's (Ezra ix. 5-15 ; 
Dan. ix. 4-19). 

5. the great and ttrrihle God] phrase from Deut. vii., whence 
probably the opening address of both this and Daniel's prayer were 
taken. 



I 



NEHEMIAH, I. 7-11 69 

house have sinned. 7 We have dealt very corruptly 
against thee, and have not kept the commandments, 
nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou com- 
mandedst thy servant Moses, sj^emember, I beseech 
thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant 
Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you 
abroad among the nations: 9 but if ye turn unto me, 
and keep my commandments, and do them; though 
there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of 
the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will 
bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my 
name there. '•ONow these are thy servants and thy 
people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, 
and by thy strong hand. ''■' Lord, I beseech thee, let 
now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, 
and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy 
name : and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, 
and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I 
was the king's cupbearer. 



7, thy servant Moses] ' the servant of the Lord,' a title frequently 
given to Moses in Joshua, I, and II. Kings, and other places. 

8, Remember. ..the v:ord.,.sayinfj'\ the reference is to the general 
tenor of many passages, e.g. Deut. xxx. 1-5, iv. 29; Lev. xxvi. 
33, etc. 

9, R.V. though your outcasts..-. This verse is based on 
Deut. XXX. 4. the place... to set my name there] K.V. to cause 
my name to dwell there, i.e. at -Jerusalem and in the Temple. 
The whole sentence occurs many times in Deut, but is found in no 
other book of the Pentateuch. 

10, by thy great power and by thy strong hand] two familiar 
O.T. phrases, found together also in Exod. xxxii. 11. 

11, Lord] the Heb. ' Adonai,' cf. Ezra x. 3. The title is used 
in poetry and prophetical writings, and also in humble petitions. 
desire] R.V. delight. this man] i.e. Artaxerxes the king. The 
last clause of v. 11 should be in brackets. See R.V. king's 
cupbearer] cf . II. Kings xviii. 17, where Rabshakeh = * chief cup- 
bearer' appears. He was an important official at the Persian 
court. 



70 NEHEMIAH, II. 1-6 

ii. 1-10. The Commission. 

O And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the 
twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine 
was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it 
unto the king. Now I had not been heforetime sad in 
his presence. 2 "VMierefore the king said unto me, Why 
is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is 
nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore 
afraid, 3 and said unto the king, Let the king Hve for 
ever : why should not my countenance be sad, when the 
city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, 
and the gates thereof are consumed with fire ? * Then 
the king said unto me, For what dost thou make re- 
quest? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I 
said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy 
servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou 
wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my 
fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. s^nd the king 

Cli. ii. 1-10. The Commission. 

1. the month Nisaii] The word only occurs elsewhere (in O.T.) 
in Esther, and seems to be an Assyrian form of the Jewish Abib, 
the 1st month (Mai'ch — April). See note i. 1. the twentieth 

year] i.e. 445 b.c. (the year in which Pericles took the lead in 
public affah's at Athens, and the 30 years' truce between Athens and 
Sparta was concluded). Artaxerxes reigned 465-425 b.c. Aojw 

Ihad not been heforetime sad in his presence'] Probably Nehemiah 
at fii'st concealed his gi'ief until he had decided what plan to pursue 
(for the sen-ants of the king were forbidden to mourn in his pre- 
sence, cf. Esth. iv. 2) but now allowed his dejection to be plainly 
visible in order to attract the king's attention. 

3. Let the Jdng live for ever] the customaiy fonnula of address. 
Cf. Dan. ii. 4, iii. 9. the place of my fathers' sepulchres] If 
Nehemiah was of the royal house, these would be the Tombs of 
the Kings, as yet undiscovered, but supposed by modern excavators 
to have been in the rocky south-east side of the Ophel hill. 

4. So 1 prayed'] this swift ejaculatory prayer is chai'acteristic of 
Nehemiah ; note his habit of prayer all through the book. See iv. 
4, 9, V. 19, vi. 9, 14, xiii. 14. 

5. that I may build it] If Ezra iv. 7-24 refers to the stoppage 



I 



NEHEMIAH, II. 7,' 8 71 

said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him.) For how 
long shall thy jom-ney be? and when wilt thou return '? 
So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let 
letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, 
that they may convey me over till I come into Judah ; 
8 and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, 
that he may give me timber to make beams for the 
gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and 
for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall 
enter into. And the king granted me, according to the 
good hand of my God upon me. 

of the building work in the earlier part of Artaxerxes' reign, 
Nehemiah is here only requesting the fulfilment of the king's own 
words on that occasion — Ezra iv. 21, ' that this city be not builded 
until a decree shall be made by me.' 

6* The king's answer is not given, but he evidently granted leave 
at once, and made Nehemiah governor at Jerusalem. the 

queen] possibly Damaspia. The monunaents often represent an 
Eastern king reclining at table, while his queen sits on a chair at 
his feet. I set him a time] the length of his stay is not given. 

Some think it lasted for 12 years (v. 14j, others that he returned 
when the walls were finished. 

7. the governors beyond the river] the Pekhahs on the W. of 
Euphrates. convey me over] E.V. let me pass through. 

8. Asaph the keeper of the king's forest] probably, from his 
name, a Jewish official; the 'forest' has been identified with 
{!) the forests of Lebanon, (2) the wooded plain near the coast, 
(3) Solomon's garden at Etan, six or seven miles from Jerusalem; 
the word itself (E.V. marg. ' or park ') occurs elsewhere only in 
Eccles. ii. 5 and Cant. iv. 13, and is said to be of Persian origin, 
and was used of the hunting-grounds of the Persian kings. Our 
word ' Paradise ' comes from it, through the Greek Trapdoeia-os. 
timber] for building (1) the citadel, (2) the walls, (3) Nehemiah's 
own official residence. the palace] E.V. the castle (a foreign 
word, possibly Babylonian). It was on the N. of the Temple ('the 
house'), and comes into later history as the fortress Antonia, re- 
built by Herod the Great, where St Paul was taken by the Eoman 
soldiers (Acts xxi. 37). the house that I shall enter into] the 
Governor's official residence ; see v. 17, 18. the good hand of 
my God upon me] this characteristic phrase of the two books occurs 
many times (Ezra vii. 6, 28, viii. 18-22 ; Neh. ii. 18). 



72 NEHEMIAH, II. 9-13 

9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and 
gave them the kmg's letters. Now the king had sent 
captains of the army and horsemen with me. ""OWhen 
Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the 
Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly 
that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the 
children of Israel. 

11-16. Arrival and Night Circuit. 

"•'' So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 
■•2 And I arose in the night, I and soine few men with 
me; neither told I anij man what my God had put in 
my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any 
beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. 13 And 
I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before 

9. the governors beyond the river'] i.e. of Hamath, Damascus, 
and (probably) Samaria. Contrast Nehemiab's armed escort with 
Ezra's unprotected caravan (Ezra viii. 22). 

10. Sanballat'] an Assyiian name (connected with Sin, the moon- 
god), the Horonite] i.e. of Beth-boron, on the borders of 
Ephraim. Tobiah the servant] perhaps once in the service 
of the Persian governor, or (less probably) secretary to Sanballat, 
and originally an Ammonite slave. The Samaritans and all the 
nations around would gladly combine to prevent the Jews from 
regaining then' old importance in the country, and for this reason 
to hinder the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 

11-16. Arnval and Xight Circuit. 

11. Kehemiah, following Ezra's example (Ezra viii. 32), rested 
for three days. 

12. at Jerusalem] E.V. for Jerusalem. 

13. E.V. the valley gate, most probably the chief entrance in 
the western wall of the city, leading out into the ravine of Hinnom, 
and bearing rather to the S.W. than due W. The greater nxmiber 
of the excavators now inchne to the theory that the Valley of Hin- 
nom was identical with that called by Josephus the Tyi-opceon, and 
they thus reduce the size of the whole circuit and the area of the 
city 1. E.V. even towards the dragon's well, probably a foun- 
tain associated with the ancient worship of some di-agon deity. It 

1 See note on iii. 15. 



NEHEMIAH, II. 14-16 73 

the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the 
walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the 
gates thereof were consumed with fire. '■'* Then I went 
on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool : 
but there was no place for the beast that was under me 
to pass. ''S Then went I up in the night by the brook, 
and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by 
the gate of the valley, and so returned. ■'^And the 
rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither 

has not yet been found by the excavators, though different theories 
have identified it with (1) En-rogel, I. Kings i. 9, (2) the fountain of 
Gihon, I. Kings i. 33, and (3) a spring in the Tyropoeon Valley, 
long since di'ied up, if it ever existed at all. the dung poH] 

R.Y. the dung gate, through which the town refuse was probably 
carried. Some identify it with ' the gate of potsherds,' Jer. xix. 2, 
others with a modern gate bearing the old name. It was pro- 
bably near the southernmost point of the city, and 1000 cubits 
(Neh. iii. 13) S.E. from the Valley Gate. JDr Bliss has very 
recently (1895) discovered a small gate which he identifies with the 
lost ' Gate of the Essenes ' and Nehemiah's Dung-Gate ; its position 
lends probability to this theory K 

14. the gate of the foimtain] probably at the S.E. angle of the 
city wall. Dr Bliss considers he has found this gate also in his 
recent excavations, and describes it as 'close to much water 2.' 
the Icing's pool] probably another name for the Pool of SUoam, 
whence came the chief water-supply of the city. It is one of the 
few undisputed localities in Jerusalem. It is not quite certain 
whether it was originally enclosed by the city wall (temp. Neh.) or 
lay outside, but recent discoveries seem to show that iuveiy ancient 
times it was within the city boundary wall. there was 720 
place for the beast. ..to pass] the heaps of broken wall and masonry 
here blocked the mule's path. 

15. by the brook] the Kedron, whose deep ravine runs all along 
the E. side of the city, and then curves round to the N.W. Leaving 
the wall, Nehemiah went up the Kedron stream, probably keeping 
on his left the long Temple wall ; he then ' turned back,' i.e. turned 
towards the W. (having ah-eady reached the N. of the city), and 
proceeding first W. and then S.W., reached the point whence he 
had started, and re-entered through the VaUey Gate. 

1 Pal. Explor. Fund, Quart. Statem. for 1896, p. 172. 

2 2b. p. 173. 



74 NEHEMIAH, II. 17-III. 1 

had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor 
to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did 
the work. 

17-20. Tlie People's Resolve. 

■•7 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we 
ai^e in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof 
are bui'nt with fire: come, and let us build up the wall 
of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. ""S Then 
I told them of the hand of my God which was good 
upon me ; as also the king's words that he had spoken 
unto me. And they said. Let us rise up and build. So 
they strengthened their hands for this good icork. ""^ But 
when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, 
the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they 
laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is 
this thing that ye do ? wiU ye rebel against the king ? 
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The 
God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his 
servants will arise and build : but you have no portion, 
nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. 

iii. 1-32. Tlie Rebuilding of the Walls. 
Q Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his 
brethren the priests, and they built the sheep gate ; 

16. the Jeicsl the lay population is here meant, as distingnished 
from the priests, nobles, etc. 

17-20. The People's Resolve. 

19. Sanballat... Tobiah] See ?;. 10, Geshem the Arabian] 
probably a chief of some Arab tribe, either from the S. border 
of Judah, or from the Arabian colony placed in Samaria by Sargon 
(715 B.C.). 

20. no portion, nor right, 'nor memoriar] cf. Ezra iv. 3. The 
Samaritans seem to have claimed rights in the Jewish community, 
but Nehemiah declares that no such rights existed, nor had they 
proof (' memorial ') of any such in the past. 

Ch. iii. 1-32. The Rebuilding of the Walls. 
1. Eliashib] son of Joiakim, aud grandson of Jeshua (Ezra iii. 
2; Neh. xii. 10), He does not seem to have been thoroughly in 



NEHEMIAH, III. 2-6 75 

they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto 
the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of 
Hananeel. 2 And next unto him builded the men of 
Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of 
Imri. 3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah 
build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the 
doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 
''•And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of 
Uriah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired 
Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. 
And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. 

5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired ; but their 
nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. 

6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of 



sympathy with Nehemiah later on (xiii. 4). the sheep gate] 

Cf. S. John V. 2, where the gate mentioned is probably identical 
with this one. It was on the N.E. of the city, close to the 
Temple wall, and through it probably were brought the sheep 
required for sacrifices, from Moab and E. Palestine. they 

sanctified it'} a special ceremony to mark the priests' own handi- 
work, the toicer of Meah] E.V. the tower of Haxnmeali; 
this has never yet been identified. the toicer of Hananeel] 
E.V. the tower of Hananel, possibly an outwork of the great 
fortress which seems to have protected the Temple on the N. 
It stood at the N.E. comer of the city, and between the Sheep 
and Fish Gates (see xii. 39 ; Jer. xxxi. 38 ; Zech. xiv. 10). 
Hammeah may have been the Eastern and twin tower to Hananel. 

2. themenofJencho] a clan of townsmen so called, or possibly this 
portion of the waU was 'towards Jericho,' on the N.E. side of the city. 

3. the fish gate] on the N. or N.W. waU (xii. 39 ; EE. Chron. 
xxxiii. 14 ; Zeph. i. 10). Possibly it was used specially by the 
fishermen from the Lake of Galilee and the Tyrian fish-merchants. 

4. Meshullam] a leading noble, but hostile to Nehemiah's later 
reforms, and an ally of Tobiah (vi. 18). 

5. the Tekoites] from Tekoa, 10 m. S. of Jerusalem, or possibly 
here the name of one clan within the city. their Lord] E.V. 
their lord — i.e. Nehemiah — the nobles of the outlying town of 
Tekoa may have allied with the Arabian chiefs (Geshem etc.). 

6. the old gate] Cf. xii. 39. It stood between thePish Gate and 
the Gate of Ephraim, probably on the N.W. of the city, and is 
perhaps the ' Comer Gate' of 11. Kings xiv. 13. 



76 NEHEMIAH, III. 7-11 

Paseah, and Mesliullam the son of Besodeiah ; they laid 
the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the 
locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 7And next unto 
them repah'ed Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the 
Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto 
the throne of the governor on this side the river. 8 Next 
unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the 
goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah 
the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified 
Jerusalem unto the broad wall. 9 And next unto them 
repaired Eephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the 
half part of Jerusalem. lOAnd next unto them re- 
paired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against 
his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the 
son of Hashabniah. "'''Malchijah the son of Harim, 
and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the 



7. MizpaK] Sg m. N. of Jerusalem. See vv. 15, 19. unto 

the throne of the governor on this side the river] E.V. which 
appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the 
river. This is an obscure phrase. According to the A.Y. it gives 
the limit of the piece of wall restored by Melatiahetc, i.e. 'as far 
as the satrap's official residence,' or his 'throne of judgment.' Ac- 
cording to the E.V. the phrase is a description of Mizpah, as 
pai-tly under Jewish and partly under Persian rule ('thi-one' 
therefore here =' rule'). The gaild of goldsmiths, being wealthy, 
repaired a large portion, see vv. 31, 32. Next to them worked the 
guild of perfumers (' apothecaries '), an important body of artizans 
in the East. theijfortijied Jerusalem zinto...'] E.V. margin, 

'they left Jerusalem unto...'. If the rendering 'left' is adopted, 
the most probable meaning is that the builders here deserted the 
old wall which they were repau-ing, and made a em've inwards, 
leaving outside then* new line of waU part of the old ('? unin- 
habited) city. the broad icalT] See xii. 38, where it is de- 
scribed as between the 'tower of the furnaces' and the 'Gate of 
Ephraim.' Possibly it was the portion pulled dou-n by Amaziah 
(II. Eings xiv. 13), and rebuilt by Hezekiah (IE. Chron. xxv. 23). 
It was evidently an important and additionally strong part of the 
fortifications. 

9, the half part] i.e. the commercial district of the city. 

11. the other piece] E.V. another portion ; the phi-ase occurs 



NEHEMIAH, III. 12-15 77 

other piece, and the tower of the furnaces. "'^And next 
unto him repaired Shallum the son of Hallohesh, 
the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his 
daughters. ""^ The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the 
inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the 
doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, 
and a thousand cubits on the waU unto the dung gate. 
■"^But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of 
Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem ; he built it, 
and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the 
bars thereof. i^But the gate of the fountain repaired 
ShaUun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; 
he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, 
the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall 
of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto 

six times in the chapter, and probably the Ust of those who restored 
is incomplete, and many names may have dropped out. Note that 
the Gate of Ephraim' is here left out, though of great importance. 
(Cf. viii. 16, xii. 39.) the toiver of the furnaces] between the 

Gate of Ephraim and the Valley Gate. It was the N.W. fortress of 
the city. 

12. Shallum...'] the ruler of the * Zion' half of the city. his 
daughters] possibly helpiug by gifts of food and money. 

13. The valley gate] see ii. 13. Zanoah] 13 m. W. of 
Jerusalem. the dung gate] see ii. 13. 

14. part of Beth-haccerem] K.V. the district of Beth- 
haccherexu ('house of the vineyard'), due S. of Jerusalem. 

15. the gate of the fountain] See ii. 14. If the theory^ that the 
Valley of Humom ran down the centre of the modern city (where 
Josephus places the Tyropoeon) be accepted, then the distance 
between the Dung and Fountaui Gates is short enough to cause 
no difficulty here (see Map), for both Valley and Dung Gates must 
then be placed on the E. side of the Tyropoeon. the pool of 
Siloah] Pi.V. the pool of Shelah, i.e. Siloam. See note on ii. 14, 
and cf. S. John ix. 7. It was fed by an underground conduit (dis- 



1 This theory is upheld by Robertson Smith {Encycl. Brit.), 
Sayce, Birch, Schwarz. Also see Pal. Explor. Fund, Qy. St., 
Jan. 1897, p. 72, 'It has already been proved that the Valley of 
Hinnom was the central valley at Jerusalem, the Tyropoeon which 
reached to Siloam being part of the said valley.' 



78 NEHEMIAH, in. 16-18 

the stairs that go down from the city of David. ""B After 
him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of 
the half part of Beth-znr, unto the place over against the 
sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and 
unto the house of the mighty. ""^ After him repaired the 
Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him 
repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the haK part of Keilah, 
in his part. 18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai 

coTered in recent years) which brought the water from the Virgin's 
Spring, thi'ough many feet of rock, to the great pool at the S. end 
of the Tyi'opcEon. The ' wall of the pool ' may have been an outwork 
for the protection of SUoam. or the ancient city wall may have taken 
a bend round to the S. and enclosed both pool, garden, and stairs. 
the stairs that go down... etc.] Tico stone staircases have been 
recently discovered, which seem to fit the description : (1) by Schick 
and Guthe, leading from the E. of Siloam up the hill towards the 
Water Gate ; (2) by Dr Bhss in 1896, on the W. of the Pool, and 
ninning at the base of the Western hiU. Dr Bhss, however, 
concludes his report thus : " As for us, who have the spade still in 
our hands, we need not trouble about theories till this implement 
has shown us aU it can"; implying that till the excavations have 
gone further, no certain identifications can be procured. the 

city of David'] the site of Zion has been much disputed. Formerly 
it was generally placed on the W. side of the modern city, usually 
to the S. end of the Western hill. Now commentators and 
excavators alike are inclined to place it on the S. of the Eastern or 
Temple hill; at aU events most would agree that its site lay on the 
E. side of the cityi. 

16. Betk-zur] 13 m. S. of Jerusalem. the sepulchres of 
David] probably ia the S. or S.E. cliff of Mt. Ophel, though as yet 
(i.e. up tiU June, 1897) undiscovered. the pool that ica-s made] 
N. of the pool of Shelah, and perhaps supphed by the same conduit. 
The excavations have laid bai'e possible traces of this pool. the 
house of the mighty] R.V. the house of the mighty men. 
Probably on the site of David's barracks for liis bodyguai'd. See 
U. Sam. xvi. 6. 

17. Rehum] Cf. Neh. x. 25. Bani] Cf. ix. 5. Keilah] 
about 15 m. S.W. of Jerusalem. 



1 The most important names which appear in support of this 
theory are those of Prof. Robertson Smith, Sir Charles Wilson, 
Major Conder, Dr Birch; while Sir Ch. Warren admits its credi- 
bility. 



NEHEMIAH, III. 19-26 79 

the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah. 
■■9 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the 
ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up 
to the armoury at the turning of the wall. 20 After him 
Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other 
piece, from the turning of tlie wall unto the door of the 
house of Ehashib the high priest. 2i After him repaired 
Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another 
piece, from the door of the house of EHashib even to 
the end of the house of Ehashib. 22 And after him 
repaired the priests, the men of the plain. 23 After 
him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their 
house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah 
the son of Ananiah by his house. 24 After him repaired 
Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the 
house of Azariah unto the tm-ning of the wall, even 
unto the corner. 25palal the son of Uzai, over against 
the turning of the icall, and the tower which heth out 
from the king's high house, that was by the court of the 
prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh. 26 More- 

19. the turning of the wallj See 11. Chron. xxvl. 9. Probably 
an important point in the city fortifications, 

20. earnestbj repaired] i.e. in an emulous spirit. With a very 
slight alteration the adverb would mean 'toward the hill,' i.e. 
OpheL 

22. the men of the plain] either of Jordan, or (less probably) the 
circuit round Jerusalem. 

24. Binnui the son of Henadad] probably the same as 
'Bavai,' v. 18. 

25. the tower lohich lieth out from the Icing's high house, that 
was bij the court of the prison] E.V. the tower that standeth 
out from the upper house of the king, which is by the 
court of the guard. The ' tower ' probably projected from the 
king's palace, and the base of such a tower has been excavated by 
Sir Ch. WaiTen; it may or may not be the one here spoken of. 
'The upper house,' fonnerly the royal palace, but at this time 
probably the residence of city officials, was to the S. of the Temple 
(probably^ on the top of Ophel. 

26. The E. V. makes this whole verse a parenthesis, of. A.V. and 



80 NEHEMIAH, in. 27-32 

over the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over 
against the water gate toward the east, and the tower 
that heth out. 27 After them the Tekoites repaired 
another piece, over against the great tower that Heth 
out, even unto the wall of Ophel. 28From above the 
horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against 
his house. 29 After them repaired Zadok the son of 
Immer over against his house. After him repaired also 
Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the 
east gate. 30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of 
Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another 
piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of 
Berechiah over against his chamber. 3i After him re- 
paired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of 
the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the 
gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner. 32 And 



E.V. in Ox>her\ ' Ophel' =a mound: it ^^vas the S. spur of the 

Temple hill, and Avas surrounded by a wall in Manasseh's reign 
(n. Chi'on. xxxiii. 14). the loater gate] the path from the 

spring of Gihon (which supphed SUoam) entered here, and the 
water-carriers entered by this gate. 

27. the great toicer that lieth ouf] possibly a fort on the E. side 
of the Temple. Schick places it at the S.E. comer of the waU. 

28. the horse gate^ Probably to the S.E. of the Temple courts. 
Perhaps connected with the worship of the sun once practised by 
the kings of Judah, see II. Kings xxiii. 11. For its position see 
n. Chi'on. sxiii. 15 ; Jer. sxxi. 40. 

29. the east gate] probably the E. approach to the Temple courts. 
31. the place (E.V. house) of the Xethijiiyns] this must have 

been the official residence of those in the service of the Temple, 
while the rest dwelt {v. 26) on Ophel. It was apparently also a 
bazaar where money-changers, dealers in precious things for 
offerings, and sellers of animals ('merchants') for the sacrifices 
resorted. the gate Miphkad] E.V. the gate of Hamxnipli- 

kad. Schick places it close to the N.E. corner of the Temple, and 
identifies it with the gate through which both the bullock for the 
sin-offeiing was brought into the Temple, and the scapegoat was 
led forth into the desert on the Day of Atonement. The Jews who 
came up from the East to the great festivals would enter by this 



NEHEMIAH, IV. 1-5 81 

between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate 
repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants. 

iv. 1-23. Opposition ivithout the City. 

A But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard 
that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took 
great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2^^(j j^^ 
spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and 
said, "WTiat do these feeble Jews? will they fortify 
themselves ? mil they sacrifice ? will they make an end 
in a day '? will they revive the stones out of the heaps 
of the rubbish which are burnt? 3Xow Tobiah the 
Ammonite icas by him, and he said, Even that which 
they build, if a fox go uj), he shall even break down 
their stone wall. '''•Hear, O our God; for we are 
despised : and turn their reproach upon their own head, 
and give them for a prey in the land of captivity : ^ and 
cover not then* iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted 
out from before thee: for they have provoked thee 



gate (or one built upon its site), and possibly Jesus here made His 
triumphal entry before the Passion. 

32. the going up of the corner] E.V. the ascent... E.V. marg. 
'upper chamber.' Two walls evidently joined here, and possibly 
above the junction there was a room built ' for look-out purposes 
or as a place of pubhc gathering.' sheep gate] see v. 1. 

Ch. iv. 1-23. Opposition icithout the City. 

2. the army of Samaria] i.e. the population trained in war, and 
now summoned by the leaders of the opposition. v:ill they 
fortify themselves] this verse is very variously rendered by 
different versions and commentators, owing to the use of the verb 
translated in the A.V. as 'fortify,' although it generally means 
'leave.' Probably a scribe in very early times here made a shp, 
and the words should run, ' Wih they commit themselves to their 
God ? ' This rendering is given by a slight change in the Heb. 

3. a fox] or jackal. 

4. 5. Nehemiah's Prayer, a parenthesis, most characteristic of 
Nehemiah's ^\'ritiug. (See Introd., p. 9.) 

EZRA A^-D NEH. 6 



82 NEHEMIAH, n'. 6-12 

to anger before the builders. ^ go built "we the wall ; 
and all the wall was joined together unto the half 
thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 

7But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and 
Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the 
Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were 
made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, 
then they were very wroth, 8 and conspired all of them 
together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to 
hinder it. ^ Nevertheless we made our praj-er unto our 
God, and set a watch against them day and night, 
because of them. "'OAnd Judah said. The strength of 
the bearers of burdens is decayed, and tliere is much 
rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 
''''And our adversaries said. They shall not know, 
neither see, till we come in the midst among them, 
and slay them, and cause the work to cease. ""^And it 
came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by 
them came, they said unto us ten times, From all 
places whence ye shall return unto us they icill he ujDon 

6. unto the half thereof] E.V. tmto half the height thereof. 

The excavations show the oldest "^all to have been 200 ft. high. 

7. A list of the Je-^vs' opposers. See notes, ii. 10, 19. The 
Ashdodites lived along the coast, and Ashdod vas an important 
Philistine city. 

8. to hinder it] E.V. to cause confusion therein. 

9. Note the characteristic reference to prayer. 

10. Judah] i.e. the Jews coUectively. hearers of burdens] 
all the workers. 

12. the Jews vshich dwelt by them] e.g. the men of Jericho, 
Tekoah, Gibeon, Mizpah, and Zanoah (ch. iii.), who lived near the 
territories of the four hostile jDeoples. From all places whence 

ye shall return unto us they will be npon you] a sentence of 
doubtful meaning, of which many explanations have been given. 
E.V. (they said...) from all places, Ye must return unto 
us, i.e. the inhabitants of these towns and villages, terrified by 
the hostility of the tribes round them, sent to Jerusalem to fetch 
back their feUow-townsmen who were there assisting the work 
(iii. 2, 5, 7, 13j. This explanation seems the best. 



NEHEMIAH, IV. 13-19 88 

you, i^ Therefore set I in the lower places behind the 
wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people 
after their famihes with their swords, their spears, and 
their bows. '''^And I looked, and rose up, and said unto 
the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the 
people. Be not ye afraid of them : remember the Lord, 
ivhich is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, 
your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your 
houses. IS And it came to pass, when our enemies 
heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought 
their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to 
the wall, every one unto his work. i^And it came to 
pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants 
wrought in the work, and the other half of them held 
both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the 
habergeons ; and the rulers ivere behind all the house of 
Judah. ""^They which builded on the wall, and they 
that bare burdens, tuith those that laded, every one with 
one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the 
other hand held a weapon. 18 For the builders, every 
one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. 
And he that sounded the trumpet tvas by me. iSAnd I 



13. in the lov:tr ^places behind the wall, and on the higher places'] 
E.V. in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in 
the open places, i.e. armed troops were placed iii the open spaces 
between the houses. 

14« the Lord] Heb. Adonai. 

16. the half of my servants] probably Nehemiah's official body- 
guard, cf. V. 10, 16. the habergeons] E.V. the coats of maU, 
more probably these were doublets of leather to resist the aiTow 
points, and perhaps metal scales were sewn upon those worn by the 
body-guard. 

17. they that bare burdens] i.e. those that removed the earth and 
rubbish for the foundations to be laid. those that laded] the 
workmen who actually constructed the walls, and placed in position 
the blocks of stone. 

18. he that sounded the trumpet.., etc.] a personal reminiscence 
of Nehemiah's is here inserted in the narrative. 

6—2 



84 NEHEMIAH, IV. 20-V. 2 

said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest 
of the people, The work is great and large, and we are 
separated upon the wall, one far from another. 20 in 
what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, 
resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. 
21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held 
the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars 
appeared. 22Li]£e-^se ^-t the same time said I unto 
the people. Let every one with his servant lodge within 
Jerusalem, that in the niglit they may be a guard to us, 
and labour on the day. 23 go neither I, nor my brethren, 
nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed 
me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one 
put them off for washing. 

V. 1-19. Difficulties within the City. 

^ And there was a great cry of the people and of their 

wives against their brethren the Jews. 2jrQj. there 

were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are 



22. AH those who worked near Jerusalem or on the walls 
during the day, were to lodge in the city at night for protec- 
tion. 

23. my 'brethren'] Nehemiah's own clan. my servants'] the 
Jewish body-guard. the men of the guard] the band provided 
by the Persian govemment. every 07ie put them off for tuashing] 
E.Y. every one went with his weapon to the water. There 
is probably some early error in the test of tiiis verse, and some 
statement of length of time seems to have been left out. 

Ch. V. 1-19. Difficulties within the City. 

A stoppage of trade was the result of the great national work of 
rebuilding, and of the hostiUty of the tribes around, which the work 
had caUed forth. Poverty was therefore rife, and those who had 
any property mortgaged it for food, or sold their o^vn children as 
slaves in order to pay then* creditors. 

1. the people] evidently the poorer classes. their brethren 

the Jeics'l the nobles and nilers, see v. 7. 



NEHE:MIAH, v. 3-7 85 

many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we 
may eat, and Uve. ^ Some also there were that said, 
We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, 
that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. ^ There 
were also that said, We have borrowed money for the 
king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. 
5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our 
children as their children : and lo, we bring into bondage 
our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of 
our daughters are brought unto bondage already : neither 
is it in our power to redeem them ; for other men have 
our lands and vineyards. 6^^(j i -^as very angry when 
I heard their cry and these words. 7 Then I consulted 
"^ith myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, 
and said unto them, You exact usury, every one of his 
brother. And I set a great assembly against them. 

2. The complaint of the ordinary labourers. therefore we 
faJce up corn] E.T, let us get com, a vigorous demand for bread 
which the A.Y. does not clearly express. 

3. The complaint of the next class, those ■^ho had some property, 
and were forced to mortgage it. that v:e mirjht buy corn] E.V. 
let us get com, see v. 2. 

4. A third class, those who borrowed in order to pay the royal 
taxes, and then to repay the money-lenders had to sell their children 
into slavery. 

5. The complaint here is that the calamities, being public, ought 
to be shared by all ahke, and not be made an occasion for oppression, 
though the slavery referred to was not illegal. See Ex. xxi. 2-6; 
Deut. XV. 12-18. The Priestly Code (Lev. xxv. 39-41) forbade the 
bondage of an Israelite. other men have our lands] the law 
concerning reversion of property (Lev. xxv. 25-28) was evidently 
unknown or not in force at this time. 

7. You exact usury] See the Laws of Usury, Ex. xxii. 25. 
(Literest not allowed, but pledges permitted.) Deut. xxiii. 19, 20. 
(Literest allowed on loans to foreigners only.) Lev. xxv. 35-37. 
(Help to be given freely, without thought of gain, to brethren in 
distress.) Nehemiah himself {v. 10) had practised usury, but -v^ith 
mercy. The rich money-lenders had become usurers without pity or 
mercy, and exacted the last farthing, therefore it was well that the 
whole system of usury should be abolished, and the old strict laws 
put in force once more. 



86 NEHEMIAH, Y. 8-13 

8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have 
redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto 
the heathen ; and will you even sell your brethren ? or 
shall they be sold unto us ? Then held they their peace, 
and found nothing to answer. 9 Also I said, It is not 
good that ye do : ought ye not to walk in the fear of our 
God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? 
■'OI likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might 
exact of them monej" and corn : I pray you, let us leave 
off this usury. ''■' Restore, I pray you, to them, even tliis 
day, their lands, their vineyards, their ohveyards, and 
their houses, also the hundredth pa7'f of the money, and 
of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 
12 Then said they. We will restore them, and will require 
nothing of them ; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I 
called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they 
should do according to this promise. ^ 3 Also I shook my 
lap, and said. So God shake out every man from his 
house, and from his labour, that performeth not this 
promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. 

8. We... have redeemed our hrethreri] Nehemiah had eyidently 
delivered from slavery some of his feUow-countrymen during the 
Captivity. found nothing to answer] E.V. found never a 
word. 

9. Cf. this f. with Jethro's words to Moses, Ex. xviii. 17. 
v^alTc in the fear of our God] this exact phrase only occurs here in 
the O.T. 

10. might exact of them'] E.Y. do lend them. 

11. the hundredth pai'tj the rate of interest had apparently been 
as much as 12 per cent, (as the 'hundredth part' was probably 
reckoned by month). Nehemiah's demand was twofold: (1) re- 
storation of property ah-eady held in pledge by the money-lenders ; 
(2) renunciation of usury for the futin-e. 

12. / called the 'priests] to add solemnity to the oath, and in 
recognition of the priest's judicial powers, cf. xi. 16, 

13. Also I shook (Pi.V. shook out) my lap] — a symbohcal 
gesture to impress his words on the hearers — 'lap,' the loose fold 
of his mantle, sometimes used by the wearer to can-y food, etc. 
his labour] i.e. the fruits of his industry. Amen] see also viii. 6. 



NEHEMIAH, Y. 14-18 87 

And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the 
Lord. And the people did according to this promise. 
■■^ Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be 
their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth 
year even mito the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes 
the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have 
not eaten the bread of the governor. "iSBut the former 
governors that 7iad been before me were chargeable unto 
the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, 
beside forty shekels of silver ; yea, even their servants 
bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because 
of the fear of God. ''6 Yea also I continued in the work 
of this wall, neither bought we anij land: and all 
my servants icere gathered thither unto the work. 
■■7 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and 
fifty of the Jews and rulers, besides those that came 
unto us from among the heathen that are about us. 
IS Now that which was prepared /or me daily was one 
ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for 
me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine : yet 
for all this required not I the bread of the governor, 
because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 

14. Nehemiah paid for his official expenses from his own purse 
between the years b.c. 445 and 433, during which he was Pekhah. 

15. the former governors] i.e. Zerubbabel and his successors. 
beside forty shekels] E.Y. marg. ' at the rate of or ' afterward.' 
A fourth reading is (' bread and -^ine ') ' to the value of, in one day, 
40 shekels...' i.e. about £5. bare rule over] E.Y. marg. 
'lorded over.' 

16. Nehemiah neither made good mvestments in land, nor 
profited by mortgages. 

17. an hundred and fifty of the Jevjs and riders] probably ' Jews' 
should here be taken collectively, as the subject of the whole verse, 
while two classes are specially mentioned in the rest of the verse. 
those that came unto us etc.] i.e. Jews whose famiUes had never 
gone into captivity, but who had settled amongst the neighbouring 
tribes, for trade or protection. 

18. required not 7] E.Y. I demanded not, i.e. my rights as 
governor. the bondage] i.e. the Persian tribute. 



88 NEHEMIAH, Y. 19-YI. 6 

19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all 
that I have done for this people. 

vi. 1-9. Plots against Nehemiah. 
g Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, 
and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, 
heard that I had builded the waU, and that there was no 
breach left therein ; (though at that time I had not set 
up the doors upon the gates;) 2 that Sanballat and 
Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet 
together in some one of the villages in the plain of One. 
But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent 
messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great 
work, so that I cannot come down : why should the 
work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 
''•Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and 
I answered them after the same manner. 5 Then sent 
Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth 
time with an oxDen letter in his hand; ^-^vherein was 
written, It is reported among the heathen, and 
Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jevrs think to 
rebel: for which cause thou bulkiest the wall, that 
thou mayest be their king, according to these words. 

19. Tliink upon me, my God] E.Y. Remember unto me, 
O my God... Another of Neliemiah's characteristic shoi*t prayers. 

Ch. vi. 1-9. Plots against Nehemiah. 

1* upon the gates] EY. in the gates: the huge doors, sheathed 
in metal, were not yet hung n-ifhin the fortified gateways. 

2. the plain of Ono] the modern Kefr Ana, six miles N. of 
Lydda, and therefore nearly two days' journey from Jeinisalemi. 

5. an open letter] that the puhlic might know the contents, and 
thus weak friends might he ten-ified by the charge of treason and 
prevail upon Nehemiah to go himself and allay the suspicion, 
Nehemiah's foes wished to get him away from the city and then 
seize him. 

6. Gashmii] probably Geshem, ii. 19. according to tTiese 
icords] possihly a phrase answering to om* * etc' showing here that 
part of the letter is left out. 

1 See Ezra ii. 38. 



NEHE:\nAH, VI. 7-12 89 

7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of 
thee at Jerusalem, saying, TJiere is a king in Judah: 
and no"w shall it be reported to the king according to 
these words. Come now therefore, and let us take 
counsel together. 8 Then I sent unto him, sa37ing, 
There are no such things done as thou sayest, but 
thou feignest them out of thine own heart. 9 For 
they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall 
be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now 
therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. 

10-19. Intrigues within the City. 

"•OAfterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the 
son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who ivas shut 
up ; and he said. Let us meet together in the house of 
God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the 
temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the 
night will they come to slay thee. '''' And I said, Should 
such a man as I flee ? and who is there, that, being as I 
am, would go into the temple to save his life "? I will 
not go in. ''2 And lo, I perceived that God had not sent 
him ; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me : 

7. prophets'] Malachi was probably one of these. 

9. H'oio therefore, God, strengthen etc.] E.V. marg. 'I mil 
strengthen . . .' The words ' God ' are not in the test, and this is 
probably not a prayer, but Nehemiah's own resolution (as in E.Y. 
marg.). 

10-19. Intrigues vjithin the City. 

10. v;ho was shut up] the meaning is obscure. The following 
explanations have been given : (1) that Shemaiah was ceremonially 
polluted and so was cut off from his countiymen and from approach 
to the Temple ; (2) that he was ' possessed ' by the prophetic spirit ; 
(3) that he shut himself up to warn Nehemiah, by a symbolical 
action, to hide. 

11. v:ould go into the temple to save hislife ?] E.V. marg. ' could 
go into the Temple and hve?' Nehemiah, as a layman, was for- 
bidden on pain of death (Num. xviii. 7; to enter the Temple 
sanctuary. 

12. prophecy] inspired message. 



90 NEHEMIAH, VI. IS-YII. 1 

for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. ^S Therefore 
was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and 
sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, 
that they might reproach me. ""^My God, think thou 
upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their 
works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of 
the prophets, that would have put me in fear. 

"•^So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth 
day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. ^^ And it 
came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, 
and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, 
they were much cast down in their own eyes : for they 
perceived that this work was wrought of our God. 
■•7 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent 
many letters unto Tobiah, and tJie letters of Tobiah 
came unto them. "'^For tJiere were many in Judah 
sworn unto him, because he icas the son in law of 
Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan 
had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of 
Berechiah. ^^ Also they reported his good deeds before 
me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent 
letters to put me in fear. 

vii. 1-4. Protection of the City. 
"7 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and 
I had set up the doors, and the porters and the 

14. the prophetess Noadiah'] only mentioned here. Cf. the 
accounts of other ' inspired ' -women, II. Kings xxii. 14 ; Luke ii. 36. 

15. EluF] August — September, in the year 444 B.C. 

17. in those days] i.e. the treasonable con*espondence went on 
during the 52 days of building. Cf. also xiii. 4, which shows that 
the High Priest was imphcated. 

Ch. vii. 1-4, Protection of the City . 

1, the porters] whose duty it was to guard the Temple, but 
Nehemiah here extends their sphere, and makes them responsible 
for the safety of the city. the Levifcs] already recognised as 

a distinct body of men ; cf. xii. 47, xiii. 5-10. 



I 



NEHEMIAH, VH. 2-7 91 

singers and the Levites were ai^pointed, 2 that I gave 
my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the 
palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful 
man, and feared God above many. 3 And I said unto 
them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until 
the sun be hot ; and while they stand by, let them shut 
the doors, and bar them : and appoint watches of the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and 
every one to be over against his house. '*Now the city 
teas large and great : but the people were few therein, 
and the houses were not builded. 

5-73. Zerubhab&Vs Register. 

5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together 
the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they 
might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a 
register of the genealogy of them which came up at the 
first, and found written therein, 

6 These are the children of the province, that went up 
out of the captivity, of those that had been carried 
away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had 
carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to 
Judah, everyone unto his city; ^^^ho came with Zerub- 
babel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, 

2. t?ie ruler of the palace] the governor of the castle (see ii. 8) ; 
he was probably general of the city troops. 

3. until the sun be hot] the usual time was sunrise. stand 
by] E.V. stand on guard. All the citizens were to be organised 
into bands of -watchers, each man in turn to be sentinel to his own 
'watch,' and every one to guard his own house. 

4. the people were fevi\ those of the first return numbered 
42,360, and Ezra's band about 1500. Yet many of these were not 
in the city, but had settled ia the country and towns round about. 

5-73. ZeruhhaheVs Register. 
Nehemiah here gives the list of the first company who returned, 
which he found in the city archives. See the notes on the parallel 
passage, Ezra ii. There are very slight differences, caused pro- 
bably by copyists' errors. 



92 NEHE:\IIAH, YII. 8-34 

Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nelium, Baanali. 
The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel 
ivas this : 

8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred 
seventy and two. 9 The children of Shephatiah, three 
hundred seventy and two. "^OThe children of Arah, six 
hundred fifty and two. '''' The children of Pahath-moab, 
of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and 
eight hundred and eighteen. ""^ The children of Elam, 
a thousand two hundred fifty and four. 13 The children 
of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. ""^ The children 
of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. ""^ The 
children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight. 
■•6 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and 
eight. ""^The children of Azgad, two thousand three 
hundred twenty and two. ''SThe children of Adonikam, 
six hundred threescore and seven. iSThe children of 
Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven. 20 The 
children of Adin, six hundred fiity and five. 21 The 
children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. 22 The 
children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight. 
23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and 
four. 24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and 
twelve. 25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five. 
26 The men of Beth-lehem and Netophah, an hundred 
fourscore and eight. 27 The men of Anathoth, an 
hundred twenty and eight. 28 The men of Beth- 
azmaveth, forty and two. 29 The men of Ivirjath- 
jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty 
and three. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six 
hundred twenty and one. 3i The men of Michmas, an 
hundred and twenty and two. 32 The men of Beth-el 
and Ai, an hundrsd twenty and three. 33 The men of 
the other Nebo, fifty and two. 34 The children of the 
other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. 

33. The men of the other Nehol * the children of Nebo ' in Ezra. 



NEHEMIAH, VII. 85-57 98 

35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 

36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. 

37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred 
twenty and one. 38 The children of Senaah, three 
thousand nine hundred and thirty. 

39 The priests : the children of Jedaiah, of the house 
of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. '^OThe 
children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. '*'' The 
children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and 
seven. ^2 The children of Harim, a thousand and 
seventeen. 

4-3 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, 
and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. 
44 The singers : the children of Asaph, an hundred forty 
and eight. ^5 The porters : the children of Shallum, the 
children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of 
Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, 
an hundred thirty and eight. 

43 The Nethinims : the children of Ziha, the children 
of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 47 the children 
of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, 
48 the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the 
children of Shalmai, 49 the children of Hanan, the 
children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, 50 the children 
of Eeaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, 
51 the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the 
children of Phaseah, 52 the children of Besai, the 
children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim, 
53 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, 
the children of Harhur, 54 the children of Bazlith, the 
children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 55 the 
children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children 
of Tamah, 56 the children of Neziah, the children of 
Hatipha. 

57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of 
Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, 



94 NEHEMIAH, YII. 58-71 

58 the children of Jaala, the children of Darken, the 
children of Giddel, 59 the children of Shephatiah, the 
children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Zebaim, 
the children of Anion. ^OAll the Nethinims, and the 
childi'en of Solomon's servants, icere three hundred 
ninety and two. 

61 And these icei^e they which went up also from Tel- 
melah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but 
they could not shew their fathers' house, nor their seed, 
whether they 2ce7'e of Israel. ^2 xhe children of Delaiah, 
the children of Tobiah, the children of Xekoda, six 
hundred forty and two. 63 ^^^^ of the priests: the 
children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children 
of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai 
the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name. 
64 These sought their register among those that were 
reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found : therefore 
were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. 65 ^^jQd 
the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat 
of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with 
Urim and Thummim. 

66 The whole congregation together icas forty and 
two thousand three hundred and threescore, 67 beside 
their manservants and then' maidservants, of whom 
there were seven thousand three hundred tlurty and 
seven : and they had two hundred forty and five sing- 
ing men and singing icomen. 68 Then- horses, seven 
hundred thirty and six : their mules, two hundred forty 
and five : 69 tJieir camels, four hundred tlurty and five : 
six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses. 

70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the 
work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand 
drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty 
priests' garments. 7iAnd some of the chief of the 
fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty 

70. These gifts are described more fully here than iu Ezra. 



NEHEMLIH, VII. 72-Vni. 2 95 

thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two 
hundred pound of silver. 72^^(1 ^/^q^ which the rest 
of the people gave xoas twenty thousand drams of gold, 
and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and 
seven priests' garments. 73 So the priests, and the 
Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and 8orae of 
the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in 
their cities; and when the seventh month came, the 
children of Israel icere in their cities. 

Paet V. Chaps. VIII.-X. Eeligious Reforms. 

viii. 1-12. Public Reading of the Law. 

Q And all the people gathered themselves together as 
one man into the street that was before the water 
gate ; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the 
book of the law of Moses, which the Loed had com- 
manded to Israel. 2^\ji(j Ezra the priest brought the 
law before the congregation both of men and women, 

A new section begins with the last clause of vii. 73 — " And when 
the seventh . . ." etc. — first pers. sing, not resumed till xii. 31. 
73. the seventh month] probably of the same year, 444 b.c. 

Part V. Chaps. Yin.-X. Eeligious IvEF0E3is, 
Ch. viii. 1-12. Public Heading of the Laio. 

1. ?/(e s^reci] E.Y. the broad place, probably between the S.E. 
comer of the Temple enclosure and the city wall, cf. Ezra x. 9. 
the v:ater gate'] see iii. 26. Ezra the scribe] first appears here 
in Nehemiah. Possibly after his reforms (Ezra ix., x) he returned 
to Babylon for twelve years, and only came back to Jerusalem when 
the walls were finished. Aaother explanation is that Ezra had 
failed to carry out his reforms effectually, owing to the opposition 
of hostile Jews and foreign allies, but that Nehemiah's arrival and 
energy stirred the people anew, so that they were now ready once 
more to listen to Ezra expounding the Law. He is not mentioned 
amongst the repairers of the wall, but may have been included in 
the EQgh Priest's family (iii. 1). Eor title ' scribe ' see note on Ezra 
vii. 6. 

2. the law] i.e. * the book of the law,' a written code, as distin- 



96 NEHEMIAH, VIII. 3-8 

and all that could hear with understanding, upon the 
first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read therein 
before the street that was before the water gate from 
the morning until midday, before the men and the 
women, and those that could understand; and the ears 
of all the people tuere attentive unto the book of the 
law. 4- And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, 
which they had made for the purpose ; and beside him 
stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, 
and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand ; and on 
his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and 
Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 
5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the 
people; (for he was above all the people;) and when 
he opened it, all the people stood ?/j3 ; ^ and Ezra blessed 
the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, 
Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they 
bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with 
their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, 
and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, 
Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, 
and the Levites, caused the people to understand the 
law : and the people stood in their place. ^ go they 
read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave 
the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. 

guished from the ' traditions ' of the priests. the first day of 

the seventh vionth'] i.e. the new-moon festival of the month Tisri, 
cf. Is. i. 13; Hos. ii. 11 ; Hag. i. 1. 

3. the street'] see v. 1. The reading occupied many hours, but 
Ezra was relieved by thirteen others in turn (■1-8). 

4. The men here named were probably Levites, not priests, who 
seem all through this movement of reform to have been kept in the 
background. Ezra was probably for the first time pubhshing laws 
which till then had been entirely in the priests' hands. 

5. opened] i.e. unrolled the long papyrus or parchment scroll. 

7. Of these names four occur in the Hst ix. 5, and seven in x. 
9-14. ajid the Levites] probably ' and' should be omitted. 

8. distinctly] probably means here 'with clearness and precision.' 



NEHEMIAH, YIII. 9-14 97 

9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra 
the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught 
the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy 
unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For 
all the people wept, when they heard the words of the 
law. 10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the 
fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them 
for whom nothing is prepared : for this day is holy unto 
our Lord : neither be ye sorry ; for the joy of the Lord 
is your strength. ■>■• So the Levites stilled all the people, 
saying. Hold your peace, for the day is holy ; neither be 
ye grieved. 12 And all the people went their way to eat, 
and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great 
mirth, because they had understood the words that were 
declared unto them. 

13-18. The Feast of Tabernacles. 

^3 And on the second day were gathered together the 
chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the 
Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the 
words of the law. '''^And they found written in the law 

caiised them to understand] i.e. explained with comments on the 
meaning. 

9. the Tirshatha] see note, Ezra ii. 63. Nehemiah calls him- 
self by the Assyrian title of 'pekhah' (v. 14, 15, etc.). Here we 
have the Persian title. This day is holy] i.e. as a new-moon 
festival, and the day on which the Law had been read. Cf. with 
this verse II. Kings xxii. 11. 

10. he said] probably Ezra, or (less probably) Nehemiah, as 
governor. eat the fat, and drink the sv;eet] a proverbial ex- 
pression for feasting. send portions etc.] a reference to the 
custom of distributing food on festal days, cf. Esther ix. 19, and 
perhaps also a reference to the law in Deut. xvi. 14. 

1:^18. The Feast of Tabernacles. 

13. the chief of the fathers] E.V. the heads of the fathers' 

houses, the laymen, priests, and Levites all apply for further 
instruction in the Law. 

14. they found written] Lev. xxiii. 39-43 and Deut. xvi. 13, 15. 

EZRA AND NEH. 7 



98 NEHEMIAH, VIII. 15-18 

which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the 
children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast 
of the seventh month : 15 and that they should publish 
and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, 
saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch oHve 
branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, 
and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to 
make booths, as it is written. ""SSo the people went 
forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, 
every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, 
and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street 
of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of 
Ephraim. "i^And all the congregation of them that 
were come again out of the captivity made booths, and 
sat under the booths : for since the days of Jeshua the 
son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel 
done so. And there was very great gladness. ""SAlso 
day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he 
read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the 
feast seven days ; and on the eighth day was a solemn 
assembly, according unto the manner. 

the feast of the seventh month] i.e. Feast of Tabernacles, see 
Lev. xxiii. 34, 39, 42. 

15, This whole passage is a free adaptation of verses in Leviticus 
rather than a quotation. the mount] i.e. the hiU country of 
Judah. jn?2€ &raftcAes] E.V. branches of wild olive. 

16, There were thirteen days in which to prepare for the feast. 
the street] E.Y. the broad place. the gate of Ephraim] 
probably in the N. wall of the city, and (from xii. 39) between the 
' broad wall ' and the ' old gate.' 

17. since the days of Jeshua] i.e. the Feast had been observed 
since Joshua's time, but not ■v\ath such strict attention to detail as 
now. 

18. he read] i.e. Ezra, or possibly it is impersonal, 'one read.* 
The Law commanded public reading at this Feast only in the 
Sabbatic year (Deut. xxxi. 10), so this was evidently a special and 
unusual occasion. the eighth day] not originally part of the 
festival, but added later by the Priestly Law (Lev. xxiii. 36-39). 
the manner] R.Y. the ordinance, i.e. of the Pi-iestly Law. 



I 



NEHEMIAH, IX. 1-6 99 

ix. 1-38. The National Confession. 

Q Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month 
the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, 
and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. '^A.ndi the 
seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, 
and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of 
their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and 
read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one 
fourth part of the day ; and another fourth part they 
confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God. *Then 
stood up upon the stairs of the Levites, Jeshua, and 
Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and 
Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord 
their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua and Kadmiel, 
Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and 
Pethahiah, said. 

Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and 
ever : and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted 
above all blessing and praise, ^xhou, even thou, art 
Lord alone ; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of 
heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things 

Ch. ix. 1-38. The National Confession. 

1. the twenty and fourth day] i.e. the 2nd day after the great 
'eighth day' (viii. 18). 

2. separated themselves] only true Israelites might take part in 
this solemn confession. 

3. one fourth part] the people listened to the reading of the Law 
for three hours, and then confessed and worshipped for three hours. 
the Lord their God] a characteristic phrase of this section, in which 
it occurs seven times. 

4. the stairs of the Levites] i.e. the pulpit or platform from which 
the Law was read. Probably the names in this v. represent the 
chief Levitical houses. 

5. The names here vary sUghtly from those in w. 4 and others 
occur ; probably the Compiler is quoting in v. 5 from a different 
source than that used for v. 4. for ever and ever] R.V. from 
everlasting to everlasting, possibly the words are from a 
doxology then in use amongst the people (cf. Ps. xli. 13). 

7—2 



100 NEHEMIAH, IX. 7-13 

that are therein, the seas, and aU that is therein, and 
thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven 
worshippeth thee. 7 Thou art the Lord the God, who 
didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur 
of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham ; 
8 and f oundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest 
a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, 
the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the 
Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his 
seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art 
righteous: 9 and didst see the affliction of our fathers 
in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; '•Oand 
shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all 
his servants, and on all the people of his land : for thou 
knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So 
didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. "•''And 
thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went 
through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their 
persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone 
into the mighty waters. ■'2]\Xoreover thou leddest them 
in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a 
pillar of fire, to give them hght in the way wherein they 
should go. ""S Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, 

6. the host of heaven\ probably means ' the created spirits,' not 
the starry world. 

7. Ur of the Chaldees] only mentioned here and in Gen. xi. 28, 
31, XT. 7, to which presumably reference is here made. It has been 
identified, (a) with a town in S. Babylonia, (6) with a place in 
N. Assyria. the name of Abraham] the importance of the 
change of name lay La the fact that it was made at the institution 
of circumcision, and was a sign of the new relation between God 
and Abraham's house. 

8. his heart faithful] phrase taken from Gen. xv. 6. The list of 
nations in this v. omits three others which are found in. the Genesis 
list. 

10. signs and xconders] an echo of Deut. vi. 22. 

11. The account here is evidently taken from Exod. xir. and xv. 
13. Sinai J — not Horeb — (Ex. xix. 18). 



I 



NEHEMIAH, IX. 14-21 101 

and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them 
right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and 
commandments: '■'^and madest known unto them thy 
holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, 
and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: ""Sand 
gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and 
broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their 
thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to 
possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 
■•6 But they and om^ fathers dealt proudly, and hardened 
their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 
■•7 and refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy 
wonders that thou didst among them ; but hardened 
their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain 
to return to their bondage : but thou arf a God ready 
to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of 
great kindness, and forsookest them not. ""SYea, when 
they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy 
God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought 
great provocations; ''9 yet thou in thy manifold mercies 
forsookest them not in the wilderness : the pillar of the 
cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in 
the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew 
them hght, and the way wherein they should go. 
20 Thou gavest also thy good sphit to instruct them, 
and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and 
gavest them water for their thirst. 21 Yea, forty years 



14, thij Jwly sabbath] which had been observed before the 
arrival at Sinai (Ex. xvi. 23-30), It was possibly observed among 
Semitic peoples (as in Assyria) before Jehovah set His seal upon it 
by commanding Israel to ' keep it holy.' 

17. appointed a captain] see Num. xiv. 4. a God ready to 
pardon] Heb. *a God of forgivenesses.' 

18. This V. is based upon Ex. xxxii. 4. 

20. thy good spirit] God's general teaching of His people. The 
references in this v. seem to be to the narrative of Numbers rather 
than of Exodus. (Num. xi. 6-9 ; xx. 2-8.) 



102 NEHEMIAH, IX. 22-27 

didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they 
lacked nothing ; their clothes waxed not old, and their 
feet swelled not. 22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms 
and nations, and didst divide them into corners : so they 
possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of 
Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their 
children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, 
and broughtest them into the land, concerning which 
thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should 
go in to possess it. 24 go the children went in and 
possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them 
the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest 
them into their hands, with their kings, and the people 
of the land, that they might do with them as they 
would. 25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, 
and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, 
vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: 
so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and 
deUghted themselves in thy great goodness. 26 Never- 
theless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, 
and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy 
prophets which testified against them to turn them 
to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27 There- 
fore thou deHveredst them into the hand of their enemies, 
who vexed them : and in the time of their trouble, when 
they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; 
and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them^ 



21. This V. is based on Dent. ii. 7, viii. 4 ; the language is poetical, 
and not of course to be taken literally. 

22. didst divide them into comers] R.V. which thou didst 
allot after their portions. E.V. marg. (more probable), 'didst 
distribute them into every corner.' The conquest of Sihon and Og 
is found in Num. xxi. 21-35. 

25. full of all goods'] E.V. ...all good things. This v. is taken 
from Deut. vi. 10, 11. 

26. sleio thy prophets] see I. Kings xviii. 4; II. Chron. xxiv. 
20-22 ; Jer. xxvi. 20-23. 



NEHEMIAH, IX. 28-32 103 

saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their 
enemies. 28 gut after they had rest, they did evil 
again before thee: therefore leftist thou them in the 
hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion 
over them : yet when they returned, and cried unto 
thee, thou heardest them from heaven ; and many times 
didst thou deHver them according to thy mercies ; 29 and 
testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them 
again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and 
hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned 
against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall 
live in them ;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened 
their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years 
didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them 
by thy spirit in thy prophets : yet would they not give 
ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the 
people of the lands. S"" Nevertheless for thy great 
mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, 
nor forsake them ; for thou art a gracious and merciful 
God. 32 Xow therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, 
and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, 
let not all the trouble seem httle before thee, that hath 
come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our 
priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on 
all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria 

27. saviours'^ i.e. the judges (cf. Judges ii. IGj. 

29. w?nch if a man do etc.] this parenthesis is quoted from 
Levit. xviii. 5. withdrew the shotdder] as an ox refuses to 

bear the yoke. 

31. for thy great raercies' sake'] E.V. in thy manifold 
mercies. 

32. the great, the mighty, and the terrible God] the phrase taken 
from Deut. x. 17. Note a threefold division of the nation in this 
v.: (1) aristocracy, (2j priests and prophets, (3j laity. since the 
time of the Mngs of Assyria] In the O.T. Pul or Tiglath Pileser II. 
(745-727 B.C.) is the first recorded Ass3Tian king who took 
tribute from Israel (II. Kings xv. 9, 24). But from the Inscrip- 
tions (e.g. on the ' Black obelisk ') it appears that Jehu was 
subject to Shahnaneser II. in 842 b.c. 



104 NEHEMLIH, IX. 33-X. 1 

unto this day. 33Howbeit thou art just in all that is 
brought upon us ; for thou hast done right, but Tve have 
done wickedly: 3^ neither have our kings, our princes, 
our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened 
unto thy comraandments and thy testimonies, whereicith 
thou didst testify against them. 35 For they have not 
served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness 
that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land 
which thou gavest before them, neither turned they 
from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are servants 
this day, and /o?' the land that thou gavest unto our 
fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, 
behold, we are servants in it: 37 and it yieldeth much 
increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us 
because of our sins : also they have dominion over our 
bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are 
in great distress. 38 _j^,j because of all this we make a 
sure covenant, and write it ; and our princes, Levites, 
and priests, seal unto it. 

X. 1-27. List of those who sealed. 

XO -^^"^ those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the 
Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, 

36. servants'] i.e. vassals, to Persia. Cf. Ezra ix. 9. 

37. The subject provinces had to pay tribute in money and in 
produce. 

38. becatise of all this] E.V. yet for all this, i.e. in spite of all, 
we still trust in God's mercy, and make a fresh covenant with 
Him. Note the position of the Levites in this verse. seal unto 
it] i.e. by signatm-es or thumb-marks, such as are seen to-day on 
Assyrian clay tablets. Cf . the summary of history in this national 
confession with those in Pss. cv., cvi., cxxxv., cxxxvi. Only events 
recorded in the Pentateuch are referred to. 

Ch. X. 1-27. List of those who sealed. 
1. Zidkijah'] Zedekiah, possibly an official under the Persian 
government, or a member of the royal house. One theory identifies 
him with ' Zadok the scribe ' in xiii. 13. vv. SS contain the 
names of the Priestly Houses, 21 in all. The similar list in xii. 
1-3 has 2'2 names, 16 of them corresponding to those in x. 3-8. 



NEHEMIAH, X. 2-28 105 

2Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, sPashur, Amariah, 
Malchijah, ^-jiattush, Shebaniah, INlallucli, SHarim, 
Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 
7Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8]\Xaaziah, Bilgai, 
Shemaiah : these icere the priests. 9 And the Levites : 
both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of 
Henadad, Kadmiel; ""Oand their brethren, Shebaniah, 
Hodijah, KeUta, Pelaiah, Hanan, '•''Micha, Rehob, 
Hashabiah, ''^Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, ""S Hodijah, 
Bani, Beninu. '•'^The chief of the people; Parosh, 
Pahath-moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, "iSBnnni, Azgad, 
Bebai, ■'^Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, ""^Ater, Hizkijah, 
Azzur, ■'8 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, "•^Hariph, Anathoth, 
Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 2i Meshezabeel, 
Zadok, Jaddua, 22pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23Hoshea, 
Hananiah, Hashub, 24Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, 
25Behum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 and Abijah, Hanan, 
Anan, 27Malluch, Harim, Baanah. 

28-39. Obligations of the Covenant. 

28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, 
the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they 

In Ezra ii. and Neh. vii. only 4 priestly houses are given, and 
possibly from these the others had been developed, or else they 
had arrived later from Babylon. 

9-13. Levitical Houses. 

14. The chief of the people] E.V. the chiefs of the people, 
i.e. heads of houses. Cf. with E.V. for variations in spelling of 
the names. There are more names here than in the corresponding 
Usts in Ezra ii., Neh. vii. Possibly the number of families had 
increased considerably since the days of Zerubbabel, but the 
Compiler used many documents in collecting his material, and 
these probably did not all coincide. 

28-39. Obligations of the Covenant. 

28. the rest of the lieoplel i.e. the 'laity' as opposed to the 
'princes and elders ' ; or the phi*ase may stand as a heading to the 
classes mentioned in this verse, which comprise the individual 



106 NEHEMIAH, X. 29-32 

that had separated themselves from the people of the 
lands mito the law of God, their wives, their sons, and 
their daughters, every one having knowledge, and 
having understanding; 29 they clave to their brethren, 
their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, 
to walk in God's law, which was given hj Moses the 
servant of God, and to observe and do all the command- 
ments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and 
his statutes ; 30and that we would not give our daughters 
unto the people of the land, nor take then' daughters for 
our sons : S"" and if the people of the land bring ware 
or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we 
would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy 
day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and 
the exaction of every debt. 32 Also we made ordinances 
for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the thhd part 
of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 

members of the 'houses' enumerated in vv. 1-27. all they 

that had separated themselves] See note on Ezra vi. 21. 

29. entered into a curse] invoked the penalty of a curse if they 
broke the Covenant. Cf. Deut. xxix. 12. the Lord our Lord] 
= Jahveh (Jehovah) our Lord. 

30. we] note change of person, maintained to v. 39. Inter- 
marriage with the heathen had been attacked by Ezra (Ezra 
ix. 2). See the prohibition in Deut. vii. 3, which is based perhaps 
on the older law of Ex. xxiii. 32, 33. 

31. the sabbath day] the details of this prohibition are not 
found in the Pentateuch, but grew naturally out of the command 
to keep the Sabbath holy. the holy day] see Num. xx-siii., 
xxxi. the seventh year] this, the Sabbatic year, is described 
in Ex. xxiii. 10, 11, and more fully in the Priestly Law, Lev. xxv. 
2-7. the exaction of every debt] the debts were not remitted, 
but their payment was suspended during the whole of the seventh 
year (Deut. xv. 2). This regulation is not found in the Le^at. Code. 

32. Ezra and his supporters introduced variations and amend- 
ments in the written law. the third part of a shel-efj Ex. xxx. 
11-16 gives 'half a shekel' as the tax, and later Jewish custom 
confirms this. (Cf. Matt. xvii. 2i.) The half-shekel tax (in Exod.) 
was not originally annual, but levied when the census was taken ; 
later it may have become a regular tax for the Temple services 



NEHEMIAH, X. 33-37 107 

33 for the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, 
and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, 
of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy 
things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement 
for IsrEiel, and /or all the work of the house of our God. 

34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, 
and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into 
the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, 
at times appointed year by year, to bum upon the altar 
of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law : 35 and 
to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits 
of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of 
the Lord: 36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our 
cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of 
our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our 
God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our 
God: 37 and that we should bring the firstfruits of our 



(e.g. under Joash). After the Eetum the tax was revived as one- 
third of a shekel (perhaps owing to the poverty of the Jews at 
that time), and later still, as the nation grew rich again, the half- 
shekel became customary once more as the annual poll-tax. 

33. the shevjbread] twelve unleavened cakes of fine meal laid on 
the table in the Holy Place each Sabbath. (Ex. xxv, 2S-30 ; Lev. 
xxiv. 5, 9.) the continual meat (E.V. meal) offering] probably 
the burnt and meal offerings ordained for every night and morning. 
(Ex. xxix. 38-42; Num. xxviii. 3-8.) of the sabbaths, of the 
new moons'] see Num. xxviii. 9, 10, 11-15. the set feasts] 
Num. xxviii. l&-xxix. 38. the holy things] e.g. the 'thank 
offerings.' 11. Chron. xxix. 33, xxxv. 13. 

34. the v)ood offering] needed in huge quantities for the sacri- 
fices, as it is loritten in the lav:] there is no such law in the 
Levitical code, so probably the words refer to some 'new' regula- 
tion of the priests, not found in our Pentateuch, but added after the 
Eetum, when scarcity of fuel necessitated some such fresh law. 

35. the firstfruits] Ex. xxiii. 19; Deut. xxvi. 2-10; Num. 
xviii. 12, 13. ^ 

36. the firstborn of our sons] who were bought back (as infants) 
for five shekels, Num. xviii. 16. of our cattle] the oxen, sheep, 
and goats might not be redeemed, Num. xviii. 17-19. 



108 NEHEMIAH, X. 38, 39 

dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of 
trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the 
chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of 
our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites 
might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 
38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the 
Levites, when the Levites take tithes : and the Levites 
shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of 
our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39 For 
the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall 
bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the 
oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the 
sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, 
and the singers : and we will not forsake the house of 
our God. 



37. our offerings] E.V. our heave offerings, cf. xiii. 5. See 
Ezek. xliv. 30. to the chambers'] i.e. the treasury where the 
offerings were kept. the tithes of our ground] i.e. a ' vegetable ' 
tithe, of corn, wine and oil. The far more important tithe (in 
point of value) of herds and flocks (Lev. xx\ii. 32) is omitted in 
this chapter and in xii. and xiii. The omission cannot be fully 
explained, though two theories have been put foi*ward to account 
for it : (1) that Lev. xxvii. 32 records an early pastoral law, not in 
force when the codes of Numbers and Deut. were drawn up, while 
after the Eetum the Jews were too poor to pay such a heavy tax ; 
(•2) that Lev. xxvii. 32 is an intei-polation later than Nehemiah's 
time, and added in the interest of the priests. that the same 
Levites might have the tithes] E.V. for they, the Levites, take 
the tithes, i.e. act as tax-collectors. the cities of our tillage] 
showing the tax to have been a purely agricultural one (see note 
above). 

38. the tithe of the tithes] paid by the Levites to the priests, see 
Num. xviii. 25-28. The law of tithe in Deut. differs considerably. 

39. the offering] E.V. the heave offering, includes the 'fii'st- 
fruits' of the laity {v. 36) and the 'tithe of the tithe' paid by tha 
Levites. the vessels of the sanctvury] cf. Ezra i. 9, 10. 



NEHEMIAH, XI. 1-7 109 

Part YI. Chaps. XI.-XIII. 3. Miscellaneous. 
xi.-xii. 26. Registers and Lists. 

1 1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem : 
the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one 
of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine 
parts to dwell in other cities. "^Andi the people blessed 
aU the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell 
at Jerusalem. 3 Now these are the chief of the 
province that dwelt in Jerusalem : but in the cities of 
Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, 
to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the 
Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants. 
^And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of 
Judaii, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the 
children of Judah ; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son 
of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, 
the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez ; 5 and 
Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Col-hozeh, the 
son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the 
son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni. ^ AH the sons 
of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred 
threescore and eight vaUant men. 7^jicl these are the 
sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of 3Ieshullam, the son 
of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son 

Paet VI. Chaps. XL-XIII. 3. ^Miscellaneous. 
Ch. xi.-xii. 26. Registers and Lists. 

The thread dropped at vii. 4 is here resumed by the Compiler. 

2. that vjillinghj offered themselves] a second class, that of volun- 
teers for migration to the city (i.e. besides those appointed by lotj. 
Six lists here follow. {List 1.) Pro\Tiicial chiefs and others who 
dwelt at Jerusalem (4-24). Cf . this hst with I. Chron. ix. 2-17 ; 
both probably copied from one source. 

3. Xethinirihs] See Ezra ii. 43, 55. 

6. valiant men] i.e. able-bodied. The numbers and names given 
here and in Chron. do not always agree, owing possibly to copyists' 
errors. 



110 NEHEMIAH, XI. 8-17 

of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah. 8 And 
after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and 
eight. 9 And Joel the son of Zichri was their over- 
seer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over 
the city. 

10 Of the priests : Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin, 
■'■' Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the 
son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, 
was the ruler of the house of God. ""^ And their bretliren 
that did the work of the house ivere eight hundred 
twenty and two : and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the 
son of PelaUah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, 
the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah, ""^and his 
brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and 
two : and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of 
Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, 
■>4and their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred 
twenty and eight : and their overseer luas Zabdiel, the 
son of one of the great men, 

■"S Also of the Levites : Shemaiah the son of Hashub, 
the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of 
Biinni; ""^and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief 
of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward busi- 
ness of the house of God. 17 And Mattaniah the son 
of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the 
principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and 



9. This verse is not in the list in I. Chron. 

11. the ruler of (he house of God] possibly a title of the High 
Priest (see II. Kings xxv. 18) or merely a special officer of the 
Temple. 

14. the son of one of the great men] E.V. the son of Hagge- 
dolixn. 

16. the outward business of the hoztse of God] the Levites acted 
as judges and officers, and also were responsible for the fabric of 
the Temple buildings, keeping it in repair, etc. 

17. Mattaniah. ..MVAS the principal to begin the thanksgiving in 
prayer] probably the leader of the Temple choir. 



NEHEMIAH, XL 18-25 111 

Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda 
the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of 
Jeduthun. ""SAll the Levites in the holy city icere two 
hundred fourscore and four. 19 Moreover the porters, 
Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, 
were an hundred seventy and two. 

20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the 
Levites, were in aU the cities of Judah, every one in his 
inheritance. 2i But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel : and 
Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims. 22 The over- 
seer also of the Levites at Jerusalem teas Uzzi the son 
of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, 
the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers 
were over the business of the house of God. 23 jTor it 
was the king's commandment concerning them, that a 
certain portion should he for the singers, due for every 
day. 24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the 
children of Zerah the son of Judah, icas at the king's 
hand in all matters concerning the people. 

25 And for the villages, with their fields, some of the 
children of Judah dwelt at Kirjath-arba, and in the 
villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages 
thereof, and at Jakabzeel, and in the villages thereof, 

20. This verse is out of place here. 

21. in Ophel] the hill to the S. of the Temple HiU. See iii. 26. 

22. the business of the house of Go(r\ the organization of the 
Temple services and of the rotation of Levitical duties. 

23. the Jcing's] i.e. Artaxerxes. Cf. ii. 8. concerning theni] 
i.e. (probably) the Levites. a certain portion] ' a sure ordin- 
ance ' gives the sense better. 

24. Tvas at the king's hand...] i.e. (probably) a Jewish official 
■who represented the interests of his people at the Persian court of 
Snsa. 

25. {List 2.) Towns and villages occupied by the Jews (25-36). 
Eirjath-arha] the old capital of Judah, usually called Hebron. 

The ancient name is here given, probably copied from the 
'formal' register. the villages thereof] i.e. suburbs and off- 

shoots of the town. 



112 NEHEMIAH, XI. 26-XII. 8 

26 and at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Beth-phelet, 
27 and at Hazar-shual, and at Beer-sheba, and in the 
villages thereof, 28 and at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and 
in the villages thereof, 29 and at En-rimmon, and at 
Zareah, and at Jarmuth, SOZanoah, Adullam, and in 
their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at 
Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt 
from Beer-sheba unto the valley of Hinnom. 3i The 
children also of Benjamin from Geba dicelt at Mich- 
mash, and Aija, and Beth-el, and in their villages, ^^and 
at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, 33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, 
34Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, 35 Lod, and Ono, the valley 
of craftsmen. 36 And of the Levites were divisions in 
Judah, and in Benjamin. 

2_2 Now these ai^e the priests and the Levites that 
went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and 
Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2Amariah, Malluch, 
Hattush, 3Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, ^icMo, 
Ginnetho, Abijah, 5;Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 
6Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, 
Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These it-ere the chief of the priests 
and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua. s^Xoreover 
the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, 



30. from Beer-sheba unto the valley of Hinnom] i.e. from the 
extreme S. of Israel to N. boimdai-y of Judah. This list is probably 
of later date than the days of Nehemiah, for the towns given are 
far more nmnerous than those mentioned (e.g. in ch. iii.) as occupied 
at this time by the returned exiles. 

31. Aija] probably Ai. 

32. 33. Ananiah, Razor] both names occur only here. 

34. NebaUat] only mentioned here. 

35. the valley of craftsmen] or a proper name, ' Gehaharashim.' 

36. were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin] E.V. certain 
courses in Judah were joined to Benjamin, i.e. were now 
settled in Benjamin. {List^.) Priests and Levites of Zerubbabel's 
company (1-9). Cf. parallel lists in x. 3-9 and xii. 12-21 ; also 
see Ezra ii. 1, 22. Priestly houses are recorded in these lists. 



NEHEMIAH, XII. 9-22 113 

Judah, and Mattaniah, which icas over the thanksgiving, 
he and his brethren. 9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their 
brethren, were over against them in the watches. 

10 And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat 
Ehashib, and Ehashib begat Joiada, ''■' and Joiada begat 
Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua. 

■•2 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief 
of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, 
Hananiah ; "•^of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jeho- 
hanan ; '■'^of MeHcu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 
■"5 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai ; '•^of Iddo, 
Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; ""^of Abijah, 
Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai ; ""Sof Bilgah, 
Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 and of Joiarib, 
Mattenai ; of Jedaiah, Uzzi ; 20 of Sallai, Kallai ; of 
Amok, Eber ; 21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah ; of Jedaiah, 
Nethaneel. 

22 The Levites in the days of Ehashib, Joiada, and 
Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: 
also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian. 

8. over the tharJ:sg icing] E.Y. over the choirs. 

9. in the watches] E.V. inwards, i.e. in rotation. 

10. {List 4.) Genealogy of High Priests from Jeshua (10, 11). 
This list is a continuation of that given in I. Chron. vi. 3-15, which 
ended with Jehozadak, father of Jeshua. Eliashih] High 
Priest in days of Nehemiah (432 b.c). 

11. Jonathan] (see v. 23). Possibly a mistake for Johanan, or 
' Jonathan ' may have been succeeded early by his brother Johanan. 
Jaddua] the High Priest who was in office when Alexander the 
Great passed through Palestine on his way into Egypt (333 B.C.). 
The mention of Jaddua, therefore, shows the compilation of Ezra- 
Neh. to be later than 333 B.C. {List b.) Heads of Priestly Houses 
in the days of Joiakim (12-22). 

12. in the days of Joiakim] probably during his high priesthood 
the houses of Levites and priests were rearranged. 

22. were recorded chief etc.] i.e. during those ' days ' a 
register of the heads of houses was kept. See E.V. to the 

reign] E.Y. in the reign. Darius the Persian] most probably 

Darius III. (' Codomannus ') 336-330, the contemporary of Jaddua 
and Alexander the Great (see v. 11 and Introd.). 

EZEA AND NEH. 8 



114 NEHEMIAH, XII. 23-28 

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were 
written in the book of the chronicles, even until the 
days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24Ajid the chief 
of the Levites : Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the 
son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, 
to praise and to give thanks, according to the command- 
ment of David the man of God, ward over against ward; 
25Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, 
Talmon, Akkub, ivere porters keeping the ward at the 
thresholds of the gates. 26 These were in the days of 
Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in 
the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the 
priest, the scribe. 

27-43. Dedication of the Walls. 

27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they 
sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them 
to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both 
with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, 
psalteries, and with harps. 28 And the sons of the 
singers gathered themselves together, both out of the 
plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the 

23. {List 6.) Heads of Levitical Houses in the days of Joiakim 
(23-26). the booh of the chronicles] some oflScial record, not 
our ' Chronicles.' 

24. the commandment of David] see I. Chron. xvi. 4, xxiii. 30. 

26. This verse refers probably to the list vv. 12-21, and was 
evidently written later than Nehemiah' s time. Two periods are 
here mentioned, (a) c. 500 b.c, (6) 460-430 B.C. 

27-43. Dedication of the Walls. 
The 1st pers. sing, is resumed in this section, showing that the 
Compiler is here quoting again from Nehemiah's Memoirs. 
Probably the Dedication took place soon after the completion of 
the walls. According to II. Maccabees i. 18 it was three months 
after. 

27. psalteries'] a kind of harp. harps] a form of guitar. 

28. thep lain country] probably here means the ' circle ' of country 
round Jerusalem. Elsewhere it is used of the Jordan Valley. 
Netophathi] South of Jerusalem, on the road to Beth-lehem. 



NEHEMIAH, XII. 29-38 116 

villages of Netophathi ; 29 also from the house of Gilgal, 
and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the 
singers had builded them villages round about Jeru- 
salem. 30 And the priests and the Levites purified 
themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and 
the wall. s^Then I brought up the princes of Judah 
upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of 
them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right 
hand upon the wall toward the dung gate : 32 and after 
them went Hoshaiah, and haK of the princes of Judah, 
33 and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam, 34ju(jah, and 
Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 and certain 
of the priests' sons with trumpets ; namely, Zechariah 
the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of 
Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the 
son of Asaph : 36 and his brethren, Shemaiah, and 
Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, 
Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the 
man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them. 37 And 
at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they 
went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going 
up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the 
water gate eastward. 38 And the other company of 
them that gave thanks went over against them, and I 
after them, and the haK of the people upon the wall, 
from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the 

29. the house of Gilgal] cf, II. Kings ii. 1. 

30. purified themselves] cf . II. Chron. xxix. 20-24 and Ezra vi. 
10. The gates and walls were purified (1) as a sign of dedication, 
(2) to cleanse the way for the sacred procession. 

31. Two processions started (probably) from the Valley Gate of 
the W. wall, one proceeding N. and then N.E. and the other S. and 
then S.E. till they met again on the E. of the Temple. 

36. Ezra. ..before them] i.e. leading this procession, as Nehemiah 
led the other. 

37. the fountain gate] for this and all other places mentioned in 
this chapter, see notes on ch. iii. 

38. over against them] E.V. to meet them. 

8—2 



116 NEHEMIAH, XII. 39^5 

broad ^vall ; 39 and from above the gate of Ephraim, 
and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the 
tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto 
the sheep gate : and they stood stiU in the prison gate. 
40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks 
in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers 
with me: ^land the priests; Ehakim, Maaseiah, 
Miniamin, IMichaiah, Ehoenai, Zechariah, and 
Hananiah, with trumpets; ''•^and Maaseiah, and 
Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and 
Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang 
aloud, with Jezrahiah tJieir overseer. ^SAlso that day 
they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced : for God had 
made them rejoice with great joy : the wives also and 
the children rejoiced : so that the joy of Jerusalem was 
heard even afar off. 

44-47. Organisation of tlie Levites. 

44- And at that time were some appointed over the 
chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the 
firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out 
of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the 
priests and Levites : for Judah rejoiced for the priests 
and for the Levites that waited. 45 And both the 

39. tJie gate of Ephraim] not meutioned in ch. iii. It was 
probably in the N. wall, and the road to Ephraim passed through 
it. the prison gate] R.V. the gate of the guard. Its posi- 

tion is uncertain. 

42, The names of the eight courses of Levitical musicians are 
here given. 

11 1 7. Organisation of the Levites. 

In this section (xii. 44-xiii. 3) the 1st pers. sing, is again dropped, 
and the Memoirs of Nehemiah are not quoted so freely, but are used 
more as an outUne. 

44. the tithes'] see note x, 37. No mention here of cattle tithe. 
the portions of the law] B.V. the portions appointed by the 
law. that waited] the technical word for the oflfices of priests 

and Levites. 



NEHEMIAH, XII. 46-XIII. 3 117 

singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and 
the ward of the purification, according to the command- 
ment of David, and of Solomon his son. ^^ For in the 
days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the 
singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving mito God. 
^^ And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the 
days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and 
the porters, every day his portion : and they sanctified 
holy things mito the Levites ; and the Levites sanctified 
them unto the children of Aaron. 

xiii. 1-3. Separation from the Heathen. 

1 Q On that day they read in the book of Moses in 
the audience of the people ; and therein was found 
written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not 
come into the congregation of God for ever; 2 because 
they met not the children of Israel with bread and with 
water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should 
curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a 
blessing. 3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard 

45. the ward of their God] i.e. the 'charge,' the appointed 
service or ceremony. See L Chron. xxiii.-xxvi., 11. Chron. viii. 14. 

46. Note the preference always given by the Chronicler to 
"singers." 

47. in the days of Nehemiah] these words show that the writer 
here is not Nehemiah himself, but probably the Chronicler, writing 
some time after Nehemiah's death. See R.V, for this verse. 
the children of Aaron] the phrase (in these books) only occurs here 
and X. 38, but is characteristic of the Chronicler, e.g. II. Chron. 
xiii. 9, 10, xxxi. 19, etc. Israel was " sanctified " for the Levites in 
paying tithes to the house of Levi; the Levites for the priests 
("children of Aaron ") in the payment of the tithe of tithes (Num. 
xviii. 26). 

Ch. xiii. 1-3. Separation from the Heathen. 

1. was found written] See Deut. xxiii. 3-6. come into the 

congregation] E.V. enter into the assembly. The account in 
Deut. follows that of Num. xxii.-xxiv., and seems independent of 
that in Num. xxxi. 8, 16. 



118 NEHEMIAH, XIII. 4-8 

the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed 
multitude. 

Part VII. Nehbmiah's Second Visit. [Neh. xiii. 4-31.] 
xiii. 4-31. Nehemiah's Reforms. 

4- And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the 
oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, ivas 
alHed unto Tobiah : 5 and he had prepared for him a 
great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat 
offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the 
tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which 
was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the 
singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the 
priests. 6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem : 
for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of 
Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days 
obtained I leave of the king : 7 and I came to Jerusalem, 
and understood of the evil that EHashib did for Tobiah, 
in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house 
of God. 8 And it grieved me sore : therefore I cast forth 

3. the mixed multitude] i.e. all those attached to Israel by the 
ties of marriage or commercial interests. 

Pakt Vil. Nehemiah's Second Visit. [Neh. xiii. 4-31.] 

Ch. xiii. 4-31. Nehemiah's Reforms. 
At xiii. 4 Nehemiah's own Memoirs are resumed by the Compiler, 
and the words ' before this ' do not refer to v. 3, but to some omitted 
passage describing Nehemiah's return to Jenisalem after some 
years' absence ; see vv. 6, 7. Between xiii. 3 and 4 therefore there 
elapses a period of 12 years. 

4. Eliashib the priest] probably the High Priest of iii. 1, 20 ; 
see also xiii. 28. the chamber] R.V. chambers. They must 
aU have been tmder his charge. allied] i.e. by mari'iage; 
probably through his connections with Shechaniah and Meshullam 
(yi.l7). 

6. the two and thirtieth year of A.] i.e. B.C. 433. hing of 

Babylon] Nehemiah would use this title of the king of Persia 
because Babylon wasi the largest city in the W. of the Persian 



NEHEMIAH, XIII. 9-15 119 

all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. 
9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers : 
and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of 
God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. 

■■OAnd I perceived that the portions of the Levites 
had not been given them : for the Levites and the 
singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his 
field. ■'■'Then contended I with the rulers, and said, 
Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered 
them together, and set them in their place. '^2 Then 
brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new 
wine and the oil unto the treasuries. ""SAnd I made 
treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, 
and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah : and 
next to them ivas Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of 
Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their 
office was to distribute unto their brethren. ■''* Re- 
member me, my God, concerning this, and wipe 
not out my good deeds that I have done for the house 
of my God, and for the offices thereof. 

■"Sin those days saw I in Judah some treading wine 
presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and 
lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all 

Empire. Nehemiah apparently went back to Susa soon after the 
events recorded in xii. See also ii. 6. 

8. stujf] Old Eng. for 'furniture.' 

10. the portions of the Levites] see x. 37, 55 and xii. 11-1 7. 

13. Shelemiah the priest} perhaps the same S. as in iii. 30. 
Zadoh the scribe} this reference shows the increasing importance 
of the scribe. Possibly this was Ezra's successor; he seems to 
represent the ' judicial ' side of the priests, while Shelemiah stood 
for the Temple priests, Pedaiah for the Levites, and Hanan for the 
singers and porters (see viii. 4, xi. 17). 

14. Another of Nehemiah's ejaculatory prayers. wipe not 
out} the metaphor is taken from the sponging of records from a 
leathern roll. 

15. The sin here rebuked was the act of conveyance on the 
Sabbath, in preparation for sale on the next or following days. 



120 NEHEMIAH, Xni. 16-23 

manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem 
on the sabbath day : and I testified against them in the 
day wherein they sold victuals. ■< 6 There dwelt men of 
Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner 
of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of 
Judah, and in Jerusalem. i^Then I contended with 
the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil 
thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day ? 
"1 8 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring 
all this evil upon us, and upon this city ? yet ye bring 
more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. ^^ And 
it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began 
to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the 
gates should be shut, and charged that they should not 
be opened till after the sabbath : and some of my servants 
set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought 
in on the sabbath day. 20 go the merchants and sellers 
of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or 
twice. 21 Then I testified against them, and said unto 
them, "VMiy lodge ye about the wall ? if ye do so again, 
I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came 
they no more on the sabbath. 22^11^ j commanded 
the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and 
that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify 
the sabbath day. Eemember me, O my God, con- 
cerning this also, and spare me according to the 
greatness of thy mercy. 

23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married 

16. Actual traffic on the Sabbath. brought Jish] i.e. dried 

fish from the Mediterranean. 

18. A ref. to Jer. xvii. 22, 23, 27. all this evil] i.e. subjection 
to Persia. 

20. lodged] i.e. spent the night, and traded outside the walls 
with the inhabitants. 

23. sail) IJeics] E.V. saw I the Je\irs, a certain set of Jews, 
perhaps seen by Nehemiah in a journey through the S. parts of 
Judah. 



NEHEMIAH, XIII. 24-29 121 

wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab : 24 and their 
children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could 
not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the 
language of each people. 25 And I contended with them, 
and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and pluckt 
off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye 
shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take 
their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. 26 Did 
not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet 
among many nations was there no king like him, who 
was beloved of his God, and God made him king over 
all Israel : nevertheless even him did outlandish women 
cause to sin. 27 ShaU we then hearken unto you to do 
all this great evil, to transgress against our God in 
marrying strange wives? 28 And one of the sons of 
Joiada, the son of EHashib the high priest, was son in 
law to SanbaUat the Horonite : therefore I chased him 
from me. 29 j^emember them, O my God, because they 
have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the 



24. the speech of Ashdod^ i.e. the dialect of PhUistia, resembling 
Hebrew, but differing widely both in accent and the use of peculiar 
words. the Jews' language'] i.e. Hebrew not Aramaic (see note 

on p. 28). 

26. beloved of his God] see 11. Sam. xii. 25. 

27. Shall we then hearken unto you] i.e. ' are we to listen to 
your entreaties, and aUow this evQ to continue, when even Solomon 
— beloved of God — fell through this sin ? ' An alternative reading 
is, ' As for you, is it not an unheard of thing that ye should thus 
act, when even Solomon fell... ? ' 

28. The offence was threefold — (1) treasonable alliance with the 
nation's foe, (2) violation of the law against foreign marriages, (3) de- 
filement of the purity of the high-priestly house (Lev. xxi. 6). 
therefore I chased him from me] because he refused to put away 
his foreign wife. Josephus relates this same incident, with 
slightly different details, but assigns it himself to a much later 
period, that of Alexander the Great. According to Josephus, the 
exiled Jew fled to the Samaritans and founded a rival temple and 
priesthood on Mt Gerizim. 

29. the covenant of the priesthood] Joiada's son, though not 



122 NEHEMIAH, XIII. 30, 31 

priesthood, and of the Levites. 30 Thus cleansed I 
them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of 
the priests and the Levites, every one in his business ; 
31 and for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for 
the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. 

himself High Priest, was yet a possible successor to his father, and 
bound to maintain the sanctity of a family connected so closely 
with the holy office. The phrase here used probably refers to the 
special position of the priests and Levites, as a class set apart for 
the worship of God, and representing the whole people. Cf. Deut. 
xxxiii. 8-11. Cf. also Mai. ii. 1-8 with this whole incident. 

30. the wards] Nehemiah saw that the duties of priests and 
Levites were strictly observed; he did not himself appoint those 
duties. 

31. the wood offering] cf. x. 35. the firstfruits] cf. x. 
36-40. 



I 



INDEX 



Aaron, Ezra's descent from, 43 ; 

cliildren of, 108, 117 
Ab, month of, 44 
Abraham, 100 
Achmetha, 37 
Adar, month of, 40 
Adonai (Lord), 59, 69, 83 
Adonikam, sons of, 19, 49 
Ahasuerus, 28, 33 
Ahava, camp at, 49, 53 
Ai, 19, 112 

Alexander the Great, 113 
Altar, building of, 23 
Ammonites, 55, 117 
Amorites, 55 
Anathoth, 18, 112 
Apharsachites, 35 
Apharsathchites, 29, 35 
Apothecary, 76 
Aramaic dialect, 28 f . 
Archevites, 29 
Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus), 13, 

14, 28, 40, 45, 70 f ., 118 
Asaph, the psalmist, 20 
Asaph, the keeper of forests, 71 
Ashdodites, 82, 120 f. 
Asnappar, 30 
Assur, 27 
Assur-bani-pal, 30 
Athaiah, 109 
Azariah, 91, 115 
Azgad, children of, 19 
Azmaveth, 19, 115 

Babylon, 15, 50, 118 
Bakbukiah, 111, 114 
Balaam, 117 



Bani, 99 

BarziUai, 22, 94 

Bath, a measure, 47 

Beeroth, a Gibeonite city, 19 

Benjamin, men of, 61 

Bethel, 19 

Beth-haccerem, 77 

Beth-lehem, 19 

Bethzur, 78 

Binnui, 53, 79 

Bishlam, 28 

Bondservants, laws respecting, 

85 
Booths, 98 
Bunni, 99 
Burnt offerings, 24 
'By the hand of,' 17, 53 

Cambyses, 11, 14, 27, 33 

Canaanites, 55, 100 

Captivity, the, 18, 26, 40, 53, 60, 

63 
Carchemish, 44 
Casiphia, 50 
Chambers of Temple, 52, 108, 

118 
Chancellor, 29 
' Chargers,' meaning of word, 

17 
Chephirah, 19 
' Chief of the fathers,' 16 
Chislev, month of, 61, 67 
Chronicles, books of, 9f., 15, 

109 etc. 
Compiler of Ezra-Nehemiah, 9 f . , 

15, 28, 40, 60, 114 
Counsellers, 45, 52 



124 



INDEX 



Covenant, the Solemn, 104 
Crucifixion, a form of, 39 
Cupbearer, 69 
Cyrus, 11, 13, 14 f., 17 

Damascus, 72 

Damaspia, 71 

Daniel, 49 

Daric, a coin, 23, 52 

Darius I. (Hystaspes), 11, 14, 

27, 33flf., 37 fi. 
Darius III. (Codomannus), 10, 

14, 113 
David, the line of, 48 ; city of, 

78 ; house of, 115 
Debt, exaction of, 106 
Decree of Cyrus, 11, 15, 36 f., 

40 
Decree of Darius, 37, 40 
Dedication of Temple, 41; of 

walls, 114 
Dehavites, 29 
Dinaites, 29 
Dragon WeU, 72 
Drams, 23, 52 

Ecbatana, 37 

Elam, children of, 19, 59 ; king- 
dom of, 15, 29, 67 

Elders, 35, 61 

EUashib, the High-priest, 14, 
60, 74, 113, 118 

Elohim, 17 

Elul, month of, 90 

Esar-haddou, 27 

Esdras, books of, 18, 49 

Ezra, descent of, 42 ; the scribe, 
43 f . ; the priest, 45, 61 ; jour- 
ney to Jerusalem, 43, 53 ; his 
reforms, 65 f . ; name omitted 
in 1st part of Neh., 95 ; men- 
tioned at Dedication of walls, 
115 

Feasts of the Jews, 24 ; custom 

at, 97 
Firstborn of sons, 107 ; of cattle, 

107 
First-fruits, ofifering of, 107, 116 
Free-will offerings, 16, 24, 46 



Forests of the king, 71 
Furnaces, tower oi, 77, 115 

Gaba, 19, 92 

Gates of Jerusalem : dung g. 73, 
77, 115; east g. 80; g. of 
Ephraim, 98, 116 ; fish g. 75 ; 
fountain g. 73, 77, 115 ; horse 
g. 80; Miphkad, 80; old g. 
75, 116; prison g. 116; sheep 
g. 74; valley g. 72, 115; 
water g. 80 

Geba, 112 

Genealogy, 22, 48 f.; of Ezra, 
42 f. 

Geshem, 74, 88; called Gash- 
mu, 88 

Gibbar-Gibeon, 19, 92 

Gibeonites, 76 

' Governor beyond the river,' 34 

Habergeons, 83 

Hachaliah, 67 

Haggai, 11, 33 f., 40 

Haggedohm, 110 

Hag-g6lah = caL]^tivity, 18, 41, 53, 

60 
Hamath, 72 
Hammeah (Meah), tower of, 75, 

116 
Hananeel, tower of, 75, 116 
Hanani, 68, 91 
Hananiah, 76 
Hananiah, ruler of the palace, 

91 
' Hand of the Lord,' 44, 48, 50, 53 
Hai-im, children of, 20 
Harim, pi-iestly house of, 20, 64 
' Heads of fathers' houses,' 48, 

52, 63 etc. 
Heave offei-ing, 108 
Heaven, God of, 68 ; host of, 100 
Hebron, 111 
Henadad, sons of, 25 
High-priests, hst of, 14 ; title, 43 
Hilkiah, 43 

Hinnom, vaUey of, 72, 112 
Hittites, 55 

Hodaviah, children of, 20, 26 
Horonite, 72 



INDEX 



12{ 



Iddo, 34, 50, 65 

Immer, priestly house, 20, 64, 80 
Immer, village, 21 
Isaiah's prophecies, 16 
Israel, children of, 18, 40, 46, 
68, 108 

Jaddua, the High-priest, 14, 113 

Jebusites, 55 

Jehoiachin, reference to days of, 

17 
Jehovah, 16, 106 
Jehozadak, 113 
Jeremiah, prophecy of the " 70 

years," 15 
Jericho, 20 
Jerusalem, VT'alls destroyed, 68 ; 

restored, 74 ff . ; kings of, 32 ; 

inspection of walls, 72 ff. ; 

population of, 91, 109; the 

'holy city,' 109 
Jeshua, the High-priest, 14, 18, 

23, 63, 113 
Jeshua, children of, 19 ; priests, 

20 ; Levites, 20 
Jeshua, the Levite, 25, 96 
Jeshua = Joshua, 98 
Jews, title used, 30 
Johanan, the High-priest (Jona- 
than), 14, 60, 113 
Johanan. son of Tohiah, 90 
Joiada, the High-priest, 14, 113 
Joiakim, the High-priest, 14, 113 
Joppa, 25 

Josephus, referred to, 121 
Journey, of Zerubbabel, 18 ; of 

Ezra, 44 ; of Nehemiah, 72 
Judah, province of, 16, 18, 26, 

35, 61 ; tribe of, 16, 25 ; sons 

of, 25 

Kadmiel, children of, 20, 25 
Kedron, brook of, 73 
'King's hand,' 111 
Kirjath-arba, 111 
Kirjath-arim, 19 
Koz, children of, 21, 94 

Law, the, book of, 95; rules 
modified, 42, 106 f. 



Lebanon, cedars of, 25 
Levites, 20, 25, 40 ff., 50 f., 64, 

90, 96, 112, 119 ff. 
'Lieutenants,' 54 
'Locks,' 75 
Lod, 20, 112 
Lots, casting of, 107, 109 

Marriage with heathen, 54 f., 

58, 120 f. 
Mattaniah, 111, 114 
Meah, tower of. See Hammeah 
' Measure ' of wheat, 47 
' Meat,' 24, 107 
Meat offering, 109 
Medes, 37 
Meshullam, 62, 75, 80, 90, 96, 

110, 115 
Mithredath, 17, 28 
Mizpah, 18 

Mizpah, town of, 76 f., 79 
Moabites, 55, 117 
Mortgage of lands, 85 
Moses, 69 f 

Nasi, a title, 17 
Nebo, a town, 19, 65, 92 
Nebuchadnezzar, 17 
Nehemiah, first journey, 72; 
reforms, 84 ff., 119 ff.; his 
prayers, 68 ff., 81,88; dedi- 
cates the walls, 114 ff. ; second 
journey, 118 ff. 
Nehemiah (nottherefonner), 18 
Nethinim, 20 f ., 50, 80, 93, 105, 

109, 111 
New Moons, feast of, 24, 96, 107 
Nisan, the month, 44, 53, 70 
Noadiah, son of Binnui, 53 ; the 
pi'ophetess, 90 

Og, king of Bashan, 102 

Ono, 20, 88, 112 

Ophel, mount, 70, 79, 111 

Pahath-Moab, 19 
•Palace,' 67 f., 71 
Pashur, house of, 20, 63 



126 



INDEX 



Passover, feast of, 41 

Pehkah, 22, 87 

'People of the land(s),' 27, 54, 

58f., 61, 103, 106 
Perizzites, 55 
Persian Empire, 14, 29 
Phinehas, 43 
' Pine branches,' 98 
'Plainly,' 'distinctly,' meaning 

of, 31, 96 
Poor, oppression of, 85 f . 
Porters, 20, 64, 90, 108, 117 
Prayer, for Gentile rulers, 39; 

posture of, 56 ; of Ezra, 56 ; 

of Nehemiah, 68 f ., 70, 81, 88 
Priests, 20 ff., 42, 86, 96, 112 
Prophets, false, 89 
'Province, children of,' 18 
'Psaltei7,'114 

Pseudo-Smerdis, 11, 16, 27, 33 
Pulpit of wood, 96, 99 
Purification, ceremony of, 41, 115 

Kamah, 19, 92 

Eamoth, 65 

' Eecords, book of,' 31 

Eegister of the Eetum, in Ezra, 

18 ff.; inNeh. 91ff. 
Eehum, 18, 78; the chancellor, 

29,31 
'Eolls, house of the,' 37 
Eulers ( = deputies), 55, 85, 87 

Sabbath, 101, 106, 119 f. 

Sabbatic year, 106 

Sacrifices, 24, 41, 53 f. 

Salt, of the palace, 31 ; of sacri- 
fice, 47 

Samaritans, 26flf., 72, 74, 82, 88 

SanbaUat, 72, 74, 811, 88, 90, 
121 

Satraps, 54 

Scribe, 29, 43 

'Separated themselves,' 42, 99, 
106 

Sepulchres of David, 70, 78 

Seraiah, 18, 42, 110 

Shechaniah, 59 ; son of Arab, 90 

Shekel, 106 f . 



Shelemiah, the priest, 119 

Shemaiah, 89, 115 

Sheshbazzar, 17, 36 

Shethar-boznai, 34, 38 

Shewbread, 107 

Shimshai the scribe, 29 

Shushan, 67 

Sihon, 102 

Siloam, pool of, 73, 77 f . 

Sin-offering, 41, 54 

Sinai, 100 

Singers of the Temple, 20, 64, 
108, 116 

'Singing men and singing wo- 
men,' 22 

' Solomon's servants,' 21 

'Stairs, the,' 99 

' Street of the house,' 61 

'Stuff' ( = furniture), 119 

Susa, 29 f ., 67 

Susanchites, 29 

Tabeel, 28 

Tabernacles, feast of, 24, 97 f . 

Talent, of gold, 52; of silver, 
47, 52 

TarpeUtes, 29 

Tatnai, 34f., 38,40 

Tax, for Temple service, 106 

Tebeth, the month, 63 

Temple, foundations laid, 25 ; 
work hindered, 27, 32 f. ; work 
resumed, 34 ; completion, 40 

Thanksgiving of Ezra, 48 

' Throne of the governor,' 76 

Tu-shatha, 22, 97 

Tisri, month of, 23, 96 

Tithe, 108, 116 

Tobiah, 72, 88, 118 

Treasui'er, 17, 116 

Tribute, 30, 38, 47, 85, 104 

Tyropceon Valley, 72 

Ur of the Chaldees, 100 
Urim and Thummim, 22 
Usury, 85 f. 

Vessels of the Temple, 17 f., 86, 
46, 108 



INDEX 127 

Virgin's Spring, 77 Zadok, the scribe, 119 

Zechariah, the prophet, 11, 33. 

' Ward,' 117, 122 40 

Wives, foreign, 55, 59 ff., 120 f . Zerubbabel, 17 f., 22, 25, 27 

Wood-offering, 107 Zidkijah, 104 

Zion, site of, 78 

Xerxes I. , 14,28, 82 f. 



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